Atlantic crossing, Christmas Eve, day 10

The big news of the day is that we had fresh fish for supper last night!  Yes!  We finally landed our first fish.  We think it was an amberjack, about a foot long, a perfect size to produce 2 supper sized fillets.  Very tasty it was too and very satisfying to be eating our first catch in mid ocean.

 

After the last entry we motored for quite a while unti­l the wind steadied yesterday morning.  The direction was just right to try goosewinging with the big red gennaker on one side and the genoa held out by its pole on the other.  I’ve just read about this and whilst it’s a common technique with two ordinary headsails, I hadn’t realised it could be done with the gennaker, which behaves so differently.  It’s almost got a mind of its own and frequently goes off and hides behind the genoa, only to pop back again into full view with a loud noise.  I have to say it’s a fast way of sailing though – we’ve done 158nm in the last 24hrs and averaged 7.5kts from midnight to 9 a.m.  It was quite a roller coaster ride last night and neither of us slept much in the boisterous conditions.  This sailing technique means that the boat is less well behaved, especially as the wind has been gusting to around 20kts which is the safe limit of flying the gennaker (although getting it down in these conditions would be a challenge).  The last forecast was for winds only in the low to mid teens, so fingers crossed we can keep it up for a while longer.   The wind has swung round to the SE forcing us further north than we’d like to be.  At the moment we are directly north of the Amazon mouth and heading for Florida!

 

It certainly doesn’t feel much like Christmas Eve out here but we have been getting in the spirit listening to festive music from David’s old choir.  We have a bottle of fizz in the fridge for tomorrow but no turkey or mince pies I’m afraid.

 

Happy Christmas again to you all.