Where have all the dolphins gone ?
Bob Beggs/Ian Rivers
Fri 12 Nov 2010 10:18
Position 39*13N 040*25W
Today the wind dropped away, and the sun appeared, giving Ian and I an opportunity to carry out some make and mend.
The first item on the list was a hearty breakfast of bacon grill and eggs prepared by Ian. The wind all but disappeared, so the engine was fired up to maintain some boat speed and progress towards Horta.
As the sky’s dried up it was decided to attack the leaking windows above my bunk, what started as a trickle two weeks ago, has since become a deluge on to my bunk every time a wave breaks over the deck. I was hoping to leave the task until our arrival in the Azores but a soaked sleeping bag and the prospect of more heavy weather prompted us in to action this morning.
The first window was duly removed cleaned up and re-bedded down on fresh mastic. The operation required two people, Ian holding the window in place on the outside whilst I quickly did up the screws on the inside. The total operation only took 45 minutes, all the time keeping a weather eye to the heavens ( didn’t want a down pour with the windows removed)
As we were preparing to tackle the second widow the engine came to stop. It was decided to tackle the engine first as a priority whilst the weather allowed . The problem was diagnosed as a blocked fuel filter. So this was changed for a new one. Once this was fitted and a few air leeks sorted the engine again burst into life, and is now powering us along nicely.
Whilst we were sorting out the engine Ian spotted pilot whales which played alongside Serica for 40 minutes. Its a great privilege to witness and interact with a pod of 10/15 foot pilot whales as they swim alongside. Unfortunately this great pleasure, is in decline, during my early trans-Atlantic forays in the eighties & nineties, dolphins were a daily occurrence. Yet earlier this year on a thirty day crossing I can count on one hand the visits we had from these aquatic mammals. On this passage we haven't a single sighting of dolphins yet, so the pilot whales of today were very welcome.
The wind has now retuned and is due to build during the next 36 hours. A timely reminder “one hand for yourself, and one hand for the boat”