02:02.335'S 89:42.290'W Bonus miles, Captain smiles!

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Tue 4 Apr 2023 22:31

Day 14

Today was forecast as dead calm and we had written it off as a day to drift under bare poles and accept we wouldn't make much way. As it turned out we have had a gentle breeze so far since we raised the sails at 
0730 this morning. We furled them last night as the wind died and everything was slatting and flogging about so we had another restful night and drifted 6.5nm before setting sail again this morning. Through the day we have had a consistent light breeze; Never more than force 2, but we have kept gently moving at around 2kts, occasionally surging forwards at a heady 3kts! Most importantly though we have kept moving and all of these bonus miles are putting us ever closer to the trade winds which we expect to encounter around the weekend.

This morning I got a good view of one of the white gannet-like seabirds that I had been keen to identify yesterday. Having been able to get a good look at its markings and features I was finally able to identify it today as a "Masked Booby". It was rather satisfying to be able to confidently match it to the images and description given in Peter Harrison's guide. Apparently the Masked Booby or "White Booby" is the "largest and heaviest booby" according to Peter... tee hee hee Peter you old dog!!!

In other visitor news we have had two encounters today with what we think is a very large Ray; possibly a sunfish although the first sighting Jamie is certain was a Ray. The first time it followed the boat around 12 metres off our stern. Jamie could see what he at first took to be a fin sticking out of the water and wondered if it was a shark following the boat. Then he spotted the shadow of the creature under the water; around 3 metres across, he was still contemplating if it might be a sunfish when it dipped the "fin" under and another raised on the opposite side in quick succession which is when Jamie identified these "fins" as the tips of a very large Ray's wings.

Later as we were both sitting in the cockpit we heard a splash and spotted something come out the water; this time within around 10 metres of the back of the boat. Another fin-like protrusion but I suspect it was again the wing tip of a large Ray; you could see from the footprint it had left on the surface of the water that it was another large creature; several metres in size.

Last night we had heard the huffing and splashing of either large porpoises or small whales around the boat after dark; I suspect it was the pilot whales we spotted a few days back but that's just a guess.
We have had a pretty peaceful day on-board in the calm conditions. Mostly reading and doing the odd little job to keep the boat running smoothly. We haven't seen our resident Red-footed Booby colony so much recently; just a solo passenger who has joined us the last couple of evenings. So we hope we are leaving them behind at last. I am seriously tempted to take a bucket and brush and go and scrub their poop off the decks now if they have checked out... then again that could wait until tomorrow... or the next day!

Our 5pm to 5pm run today was a modest 33nm; all bonus miles we weren't expecting to make today so we have a happy Captain; and happy crew!