Wind or Loose

Sat 27 Nov 2010 10:36
18:35N 24:06W

26 november.

- Waves & the sky

The waves here are not so much high as they are long, it takes about 13
seconds going from top to top, they come from the side. An the surface itself
is rather smooth, so not so much banging on the hull. Tonight there is no
moon, its cloudy and the result is that it is very dark, very dark, no stars
either. This makes the waves, when you finally see them close to the boat,
akward, to say the least, standing up on the bench at the back of the boat,
so roughly 3.5 meters above the water line, the horizon is still the closest
wave, ie, waves are 3+ meters. But again, very long (50m?). Nothing
happening outside, except a tiny fisher man, amateur? We can hardly see him,
except so now and a then when he is on top of the waves. When he is almost
at throwing distance he quickly disappears in the west.

- ARC info

Every day we get 2 emails from the ARC organization; a 'fleet position'
email and a weather forecast. But today we got two more. The first was a
warning. One of the ARC participating yachts had spotted a abandoned
catamaran. A swiss registered boat, and it was last seen not so far from us.
The second mail was a warning. The ARC organization warned it is not allowed
to make landfall in Cape Verde Islands without prior communication with the
ARC organization. We have so far kept it open whether we would maybe go by,
but there is no need to dos so. Other boats are apparently, because we've
overheard stories on the VHF of boats going there to get extra fuel.

- Solar power

Another email came in, which was the confirmation that the manufacturer of
the regulator, officially thinks the device is broken. The suggested
solution is to take the regulator, bring it back to the dealer (near
Haarlem), have it repaired, and then pick it up again, and bring it back to
the boat. So much for Service Logistics, or Reverser Logistics as the
Americans call it. Anyway, we are in denial and we will try 3 more things.
More on that later. In the mean time G is trying to arrange a spare
regulator in Cape Verde, although this is believed to be unlikely to
succeed, it still is a good effort! Thanks G!

- Food

It starts to look like we are throwing more food overboard than we are
eating...Today 3 kilo of Turkey, 2 kilo chicken and several oranges,
courgettes and avocados have gone overboard. Yesterday Hn already pre-cooked
the burgers/tartar, and today H is pre-cooking pork. Hn performs very well
in the role of human vacuum packaging man, using nothing more than a simple
plastic mini bag and him inhaling! It works :) Like yesterday, most of our
breakfast, lunch and in betweens are determined by food 'about to go
overboard', today being bananas (I ate 5!), avocados and oranges.

- Fridge

The reason for the "meat meets sea" action, is that the fridge cannot cope
with the heat anymore. The little fridge box inside is completely frozen and
the temperature is now exceeding 10c. We also lack a rigid method as to be
most efficient when taking stuff out (or in). H & Hn decide to do de-frost
session. They tried once yesterday but were not convinced this was good
enough. Sleeping bags now function as isolators, and pans with boiling water
are inserted in the fridge. Less than 1 hour later the job is well done, and
the fridge reloaded.

- FISH!!!!!

H shouts he sees fish jumping about 100m behind the boat. The fishing rod
wheel begins to rotate quickly and noisily. E starts to shout we have a fish
on the hook. As we have the PARASAILOR out, we cannot quickly turn the boat,
so we first start the engine and put it in reverse. This slows us down from
4 to 1 knot. E lets the fish jump and swim, and after a few minutes he
starts to slowly reel in the line. In the meantime we do drop the
PARASAILOR, as we also need to be careful with diesel, now that the solar
panels are not working. E gets the fish to 1 meter behind the boat. It is
yellow and looks like it tastes well :) SUSHI !!!! We devise a plan,
although a bit chaotic. Then things fall into place. E is determined to
swing the fish into the cockpit (we are all wearing gloves at this time),
while A has the narcose hammer, Hn stands by with the rum and H records the
lot on HD (available after this trip). The fish lands as planned on deck,
and we all try and hold it there, then A raises the hammer, and in a well
planned and controlled matter, A carefully, but violently, hammers the fish
to death in probably something that would be described by outsiders as an
excessive and brutal killing scene. Blood is all over the place. The fish
fights back (after 10 strokes with a 1 kilo hammer) and Hn inserts rum in
its mouth and keews. The fish keeps on fighting back, so A grabs the knife
and stabs the fish several times to death, but the fish fights back. A now
at least chops of half the fish' head, and then indeed, it is dead. E starts
padding it, we get out the atlas and indeed, it is a MAHI MAHI. JUMMIE
JUMMIE !! The fish measures 109cm and weighs 6.3 kilos. We wash and clean
the boat (and ourselves) as much as possible and then lower the swimming
platform. E jumps on it and start s changing the fish into filet :). 1 hour
later we are enjoying this catch and consume the champagne as well!!!

More stuff.

- We introduced a new shift plan yesterday, starting at 6pm rather than 8pm,
the idea being that the first and last 'night' shifts become in this way
kind of easy shifts as one overlaps diner and the other breakfast. We also
change the teams, H and Hn versus E and A.

- Around midday we discover diesel on deck. This turns out to be the
overflow from the starboard diesel tank. We have switch the diesel intake to
draw from this tank first, so this problem should go away if we motor.

- E provides A with some training on spinnakers and PARASAILORS. Finally
after hoisting and setting and dropping a few times, due to lack of wind, A
is now approved PARASAILOR. Then E spots a 'bearing' in the jib traveler on
the fore deck. The traveller is jammed due to this. We take a better look
and discover that one of the 8 screws is loose, and the bearings in the
traveler are 'almost' coming out. This tiny job took a bit longer to fix, as
the bearings are rather small and light, and the boat obviously does not lay
still, but it is working again.

- We also learn (by listening) that the propellor is not automatically
folding when we stop motoring. Obviously this should happen as this is a
auto folding prop, whichn was put on the boat in Las Palmas. The solution
for now is to put the engine in reverse shortly before switching of the

- And lastly, E saved the yellow-brick gps tracker. It is fixated with
velcro (klitteband) and secured with a tie-rep. The tie-rep had come loose,
so you would have almost lost visibility of where we are!

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