on the way to LP 2

Fenix II ARC
Liz/Steve Rakoczy
Wed 10 Nov 2010 13:46


04/11/2010      Distance: ~137 NM   “31:43N 11:33W”     


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. 


Dolphins are 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 frustrating.

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 Madam?”





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 him.

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.


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