OMG Land Ahoy

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Tue 17 Dec 2013 23:46

Monday 16th December 2013





Daily miles: 169

Distance travelled: 3033

Air temperature: 27.0

Water temperature: 27.9 deg

Engine hours: 8

Course: 237 deg

Wind direction: 90

Speed: 20-23


So I am pleased to say that this will be my final Mother watch not that I haven’t enjoyed doing them, on the slightly calmer days that is! The best thing about them are that we have a full 12 hours off prior to the day watch which means you can hopefully get some good catch up sleep in. This however has not been the case of late due to the lumpy, rolling seas. We are all slightly concerned how we may feel when we are not rocking and rolling, will it make us feel land sick!!? This is not really a worry just a lovely thought!!


It has been all go this morning. The past 5 or so days we have been sailing on starboard tack on a broad reach / run with 3 reefs in the main sail and the genoa in and out depending on the wind strength. Today we gybed! and took in the genoa pole...!! Roger also decided that it was time to shake out a reef because the wind had dropped off a little. This did take some adjusting because initially the auto pilot couldn’t cope with the waves and swell which was coming from the side and just kept going all over the place. Again Bryan proved that he could cope and helm better than George (aka the auto pilot!). Having furled in some genoa and set off on a reach we are doing much better and going 7.2 knots in 20-24 knots of wind. Our current course is 238 which in 60 miles will take us to the southern tip of Martinique. We will then need to do another gybe, heaven forbid our second in less than 12 hrs, to then head up the west coast of Martinique for a little bit to a small bay St. Anne to anchor overnight. We are all on a speed mission now, as long as we are doing 7+knots and in the correct direction we should be there sometime this evening. It will most definitely be in the dark but it is more or less a full moon so as long as the skies are clear we will see fine to come into anchor.


Whilst we were sat up in the cockpit calming down after all the mornings actions we saw two different birds. One was gannet like but slightly smaller, mostly white with black tipped and edged wings and had a longish beak and a splayed out feathered tail. The other one was all black / brownish, with a W shaped wing. What we had not quite seen before was what they were trying to catch. Today we could clearly see that they were hovering around us because we were disturbing the flying fish so when they were jumping out they would dive down and catch them! The next bit of excitement was that we had a pod of about 10 dolphins came and play with us for about 20 minutes. They were surfing down the waves around us, playing in our bow wave and then dropping down underneath each other to get back into a good position. When they were surfing down the waves they would leap out near the bottom of the wave. Others would work there way up the wave and leap out of the very top of the waves and re-enter the water right at the trough of the wave. They were also leaping out and spinning round to then do belly flops!! This was happening near the end of their time playing with us and we think it may have been a way of communicating that they were now hungry and ready to find a little snack!   Just after they left we saw a huge amount of flying fish coming from all directions, they were trying to escape! I was sat up on the bow taking photos and videos whilst holding on with white knuckles. It was an extremely impressive sight and something that has really boosted our moral for the final push to the finishing post!


One thing we are all now starting to struggle with is as Bryan has put it “feeling like a salty, grease ball”! It has now been almost three days without washing water so we have been using a little drinking water to brush our teeth and then using wet wipes to try and freshen up a bit. We do have just enough drinking water to last a day or two more! One thing I am going to be doing on waking at anchor tomorrow morning is to get dressed in my bikini and jump into the sea, arghhhhhhh!! We will then head into the marina to hopefully get a berth if there if one is available. If not we will fill up with fuel and water and go find a nice anchorage just out of the marina.


We did our final clock change yesterday so we are now GMT –4, which is Martinique time (we need to adjust to opening time!)


Just one more final thought. That is to say a HUGE thank you from all four of us, to all those reading our blogs. It has  been a nice distraction for ‘mother’ to write and I am sure a nice distraction from peoples usual daily tasks to read them. We have had some lovely feedback from those emailing us and it is great to know that we have not been on our own, even if we haven’t seen anyone else for a few days!!


Due to the point of sail that we are on we can not have any of the hatches open due to risk of waves spraying in, which does means it is very hot and sticky down in the saloon, so it is time to cool off up in the cockpit.  Pizzas for lunch!


Final time....

Lucy (Mother)...Out!