Distance: ~137 NM “31:43N
It is amazing how much wild life comes to visit us. From time to time
little birds come to have a rest on our life lines (finches?). According
to Steve they come to have a toilette break. We saw several sunfish (some in
the Strait), tuna, leather back turtle, porpoise and of course dolphins.
everywhere in the Med and apparently in the Eastern
Atlantic also. We were fortunate enough to be followed by a large
pod this morning. They stayed with us for hours. I think ships must have the
same entertainment value for dolphins as television for humans. How bored they
must have been before humans invented boats? Nothing to chase, nothing to dive
under, no bow waves to travel on. I firmly believe that using their famous
sonar communication the news: “A nice boat, lots of fun, at location
33:13.100N; 9:50.882W” gets around quickly, At one stage, I noticed a new
group of 4-6 dolphins swimming towards us from a great distance, at full speed.
They joined the other 5-7 dolphins already frolicking around Fenix. They stayed
for hours and were such a delight. But as they are intelligent creatures they
intended to maximize the benefits. Obviously an “Unless you talk to my
agent No Photographs Please” rule was enforced. Whenever I pulled out the
camera they disappeared in the deep, mysterious blue water. It was so
At the end Kynan asked for his camera and took some great shots and
that was it. I could not believe it. He even managed to video them.
Busy morning. We have been looking forward to try our Parasailor. A
sort of combination of a spinnaker and a kite from a Kite Surf shop. It is
supposed to be fantastic for down-wind sailing. While we were waiting for the
favorable winds we decided to move the dinghy from the davit (a steel structure
at the back of the boat to suspend the dinghy above water) to the front deck
and start up our DuoGen. DuoGen is a combination wind/water propeller generator
that will supply us with the all important energy. The Solar panels we cannot
supply us with enough energy. We have approx. 1 square meter which produces
only about 2 Amps, hardly enough to run our fridge and definitely not
sufficient to run the autopilot.
Back to our DuoGen: it is a tower mounted on the stern and we can pivot
its propeller into the wake of the boat to generate electricity. It is a
marvel of technology and supposed to generate 10 Amps that would keep all our
fancy gear going on our way to the New World.
I found a shackle
pin under the mast. This caused some worry and sent Kynan on top of the mast to
check all the fittings. The boys spent a couple of hours working on these
projects while I kept the boat “heave to” (facing the waves) so
that we would not roll sideways. They lifted the dinghy out in the quite large
swell (6-8 feet) moved it forward, tested the DuoGen While all these things
were happening cruise ship stopped nearby. I imagined that perhaps a CCTV
focused on Fenix provided live coverage of our efforts to entertain the
breakfast crowd on the snow white cruise ship, while the waiters in white coats
politely asked “Some more coffee
Story: It reminded me of a famous, exclusive hotel
in the 50s near the Matterhorn in Switzerland that epitomized the
idle life of the rich and famous. Matterhorn is the most notorious mountain
peak in Europe. Its icy, smooth granite
surface made climbing almost impossible for centuries. In the early 20th
century several groups managed to climb it and after WWII more and more
groups wanted to prove themselves by climbing the Matterhorn.
The clever hotelier started to advertise the climbing schedules and distributed
binoculars to the guest to watch the climbing attempts. People were sipping
their drinks and making bets which climber will get to the top first. Sometime
the death fall of a climber happened why a hundred binoculars were trained on
I real terms the cruise ship was probably just doing some illegal
sewage dumping before going to port in Casablanca.
By lunch time the
DuoGen looked good, the dinghy was sorted but the wind disappeared. Sadly we
had to start motoring towards our destination.
I cooked lentils with a meat medley and due to the really favorable
circumstances, no heeling, no rolling, we decided to celebrate crossing the
half way mark to Las Palmas.
First we had a sundowner followed by a “silver service” dinner. We
must have been influenced by that cruise ship! Polished off a bottle of Spanish
Rioja and contemplated the troubles out there in the real world. No fish.