Dolphins and the red dust

Tue 4 Jun 2013 17:23
Having grown accustomed to the new point of sailing, and the particular movements now required to enable me to swing/lurch from one safe perch to another within the cabin, I can report that already there is a sameness to these days in the North Atlantic that I experienced in the south. The sea remains rather discoloured from the Amazon run off, and its appearance is not enhanced by the sky which is also an unchanged hue of grey around the horizon, clearing overhead to a pale watery blue. The wind varies from 12 to 20 knots from the north east, and my ears are now so tuned to the sound of the wind in the rigging that I don't need my dials any more, and the electronics are switched off.
So perhaps this would not be a good base for a 24 hours TV news service, but just supposing that this were to be the case, here are today's headlines and stories,
RED DUST HERALDS NEW IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION. Red dust has accumulated in the rigging of the yacht 'Fleck', 200 miles from the coast of Surinam in South America. The likely source is the Sahara Dessert, 3,000 miles away in Africa. We tried to interview some of the particles, but they were saying nothing, heightening our suspicions that they might be illegals.
SURINAM DOLHPINS IN MASSACRE. A large school of about 40 dolphins were enjoying a right carve up in the North Atlantic yesterday, 200 miles off the coast of Surinam. The victims have not been identified, but were probably small tuna. Both hunters and the hunted leapt out of the water in a frenzy of activity, creating a remarkable local wave disturbance. Later some of the dolphins approached the yacht 'Fleck' in a more playful mood. Our expert marine biologists were able to translate their leaders prepared statement: "We were sorry that you caught us with our pants down this afternoon, and have come to reassure you that we are at heart just the cute playful highly intelligent folk that you humans think we are. And anyway if you think our table manners leave something to be desired, just reflect on the behaviour of humankind during the conduct of the Second World War, and sort yourselves out before setting out on the oceans preaching that we should chew seaweed for a living."
The currents hereabouts are just as shown in my pilot book: north west with eddies. Yesterday afternoon it was against us for a while, now it is pushing us towards the Caribbean at more than 2 kts. Indeed at this rate we shall be in there in about three days, but there's many a slip!
No news from my regulars re. any impending hurricanes, so I will take that as a no. Provisional plan is to check in at the north east end of Tobago, then day sail down to Chaguramus at the north west tip of Trinidad, taking a few days for this. It is supposed to be pretty, and it avoids the transit of the busy channel between these two islands being undertaken at night.