Fish & Ships

Summer 2022
John Andrews
Sat 28 May 2011 11:13

40:40.5N 42:31.4W


Day 14


Well, we are almost radio hams now. We have been in VHF contact with three boats today and last night found us gathered round the short wave radio, our faces lit by the light from the nav screen, straining to hear the voices of distant yachts. It was like a scene from a war film.


Most of the other yachts are ahead of us and are firmly in the no wind area of the high pressure. They all seem to carry huge amounts of fuel and are talking of motoring for two or three days to get through it. We are not short of fuel, but can’t really afford to plan for that level of motoring.


We spotted the third yacht almost a mile to starboard at first light this morning. He waited until a respectable hour, and then contacted us on the VHF. He is sailing alone, delivering a yacht from St Martin to Dublin. His satellite phone is down and he asked us if we could e-mail the owner and his wife, to let them know where he is and that he is ok. He also asked us if we could download some weather information. He has done this journey before, and wanted to make sure there was ‘nothing nasty’ coming off the coast of America. I am happy to report that there is nothing nasty there.


The really big bit of news however, is that yesterday afternoon we caught a  5lb tuna! John was thoroughly dispirited about the fishing and hadn’t even set a line. Chris was not happy about this and goaded him into putting a line out, with a different sized bait. We trailed it for about 4 hours, and then, just as the sun was going down, the reel started zinging and there it was – a fabulous fish, good for 2 meals.


On the weather front, there is still this persistent high pressure, blocking our route to the Azores. The wind dropped to force 2/3 over night, so we all got a good sleep, and is likely to remain at this level. As I write, however, we are going through a bit of a rain storm and the wind has shot up to force 4 and freed us by about 50 degrees, so we are making the most of this while it lasts. We are staying below the ice limit – a persistent north-west going current, which has been confirmed by one of the other yachts, will be pushing any ice away from us.