Saturday 31 January
Ocean Science's blog
Tue 3 Feb 2015 15:07
Up for the 4-8am watch - Mr Cooper's Perkins 6-cylinder chugging away beneath the galley, and into the cockpit with occasionaL whiff of diesel exhaust to remind us of home. I get the news that we have covered 3,000 nautical miles, which is 3,450 miles in old money.
A near-full moon sinks into the Western horizon like a setting sun, and we are anthracite-black for a while before the sun appears. We have not had much of Homer's "dawn with rosy fingers", most days it is more "when morning gilds the skies", but sometimes we have giant black clouds like the bad guy in Ghostbusters, with a bit of drama when the suns breaks through later on. We had one of those this morning.
Five minutes before my watch ends (looking forward to ham and tomato sandwich) we are overtaken by a monster squall with giant warm raindrops. Quickly on with the oilies except no time for trousies, but my linen shorts are dry within minutes of finally getting to breakfast.
We slide past a bit of Guadeloupe. Odd to think that a couple of miles nearer and we would be in the European Union, the island being a department of France.
Here is a picture of a piece of rope dangling from the boom against the background of yesterday’s nice sunset.
And after breakfast (with freshly-baked ciabatta, no less) we got a smidgeon of wind, we turned off the engine and strung up the spinnaker.
Then in the creaking silence we saw our first Frigate bird. These extraordinary creatures have a huge wingspan, well over 3 feet, and flap and glide in lazy circles over the ocean. They never land on the sea but occasionally scoop up a fish near the surface. Their favourite activity is however mugging smaller birds who have legitimately caught fish. Frigate birds look cool but they should all have ASBOs.
Ambition realised! We had a swim this afternoon. Almost no wind, appropriate safely precautions and we were in the Atlantic Ocean – 27 degrees C, with 4 kilometres of water below us. Exquisite.
And this after a lunch of entrecote steaks, big chips wouldya believe it, hot Roquefort sauce and other goodies, all whistled up from scratch by the amazing Teresa. Eating in the saloon (way too hot outside) and using dinner plates for the first time. Nice day – tomorrow it’s the Big A.