You Can’t Slow A Good Boat Down

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Wed 28 Mar 2012 20:51

You Can’t Slow A Good Boat Down


Noon Position:  39:18S 057:53W

Noon to Noon Run:  164 miles

Date:  28 March 2012


The southerly wind died yesterday evening as forecast and, after a short period of calm when we had to endure the unusual sound of the engine for three hours, a moderate breeze filled in from the west. The breeze reached its forecast strength of 25 knots but then continued to build until we were once again well reefed in 35 – 40 knots of wind – another gale, but this time from the beam, an even better and faster direction. So for the last 12 hours we have been tanking along at between 7.5 and 8.5 knots. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. And now being out of the Roaring Forties, everything seems a little less extreme. Our noon to noon run wasn’t in the 180’s like the last couple of days, but it was still 164 miles which is not to be sniffed at.


To add to our good fortune, the water temperature, which had been a chilly 7.5° C when we started the passage, is now a bath-like 16.4° and the air temperature has also increased correspondingly. It is the first time in months that I have been able to sit in the cockpit without being swathed in layers of clothing , hats and gloves.


This morning, we saw an enormous flock of birds wheeling around in the distance. Obviously a big shoal of fish were there. And where there are fish, you get dolphins. And, boy, did we get dolphins. An enormous pod of probably 100+ Common Dolphins or Hourglass Dolphins (the first of this species I have seen, and certainly the largest pod of dolphins I have ever come across) came zooming in towards us and surrounded the boat for about half an hour, shooting around and under the boat, porpoising in and out of the water with the occasional show-off hurtling fully out of the waves.


We are now closing the coast of Argentina and some time tomorrow morning we should be passing Pinamar, a resort town on the coast. This is where Andrew’s granny, Omi Lulle, lives. She will be 100 years old this year and still goes for a swim in the sea every morning. Respect. The plan, so long as we are not there too early, is to sweep past tomorrow morning as close as the shallow waters will allow, and give Omi Lulle a wave, and dip our ensign in salute.