Slowly slowly catcha de fishie.

Sue & Alan
Mon 6 Jan 2014 15:49
"Lunch is served" is greeted with a smile. We had already decided we need to eat-up the 'vunerables' before they change texture, colour, taste, smell and feel. So stuffed mushrooms accompanied by stuffed red pepper seemed a good option at the time. This didn't take into account incidental timing. Ray was happily munching away when a role to port cunningly transformed his clean clobber into a tapestry of garlick, cheese, tomato, red-pepper and olive oil. Amongst some rather dodgy expletives almost everything was deposited back on his plate, only to re-appear on his lap for a second time as the roll turned into bit of a bounce. Best I not say or do anything to offend and I couldn't move anyway, unable to breath freely or maintain freedom of expression due to giggling. As sanity returned and Rays sudden hatred of the elements turned into humour we laughed it off together. Good job the washing machine is working OK eh? Immediately after lunch Ray addad a PS to the email he had prepared t
o Sandra, which reads "p.s. just had lunch "knocked up" by Alan of mushrooms stuffed with cheese and garlic, grilled red peppers with tomato's and ham - all of which ended up in my lap - again!! And so the stains issue continues......"!!!
Towards end of the afternoon Ray noticed some loose stitching on the foot of our genoa. This is not good news so lifejacket on an trapeze balancing accuracy at the pointy-bit to assess what needed doing meant we needed to do a little repair to prevent matters getting worse. For now, there is an Alan-special sort of stitch either side of the damage, which we hope prevents further stitching from coming away. The damage ain't structural although best prevent it worsening because it's many miles and a long time until we can visit a sail loft!!! We have now agreed that "Sail-flogging of any sort must be avoided". Not easy in these conditions of following winds, lumpy seas and mischievous rogue waves. With this in mind, we have reduced sail further so that we can maintain best course, due west as well slightly southerly when possible, even though this means slightly lower speed until the wind backs from E to NE - as it is due to in couple of days.
Rays washing done and dried before evening and the chinese laundry of a cockpit returned to 'normal' we enjoyed one of Rays prepared chicken casserole's - served in bowls. This is really good grub, prepared at sea with minimum effort because all the work was done in Santa Cruz before departure, eaten carefully so no new tapestry on either of us - a great improvement for our metabolism!
SSB email is more difficult of recent. Hopefully this is because HAMs like sending & receiving on Sundays for some reason. Could also be because we are moving further and further away from Europe (usable land stations are likes of Switzerland). We'll perceiver with same stations until we can make reasonable contact with stations ahead of us.
I'm predicting ocean sailing is a bit like skiing. So it takes 3 days to loosen up and everything becomes more of a doddle. So we should now be in the doddle stages!!!!! It will help us if the sea calms a little and the wind backs a little (as promised) to F5 or F6. The F3's (touching F4's tonight) might be OK for day sailing although not ideal for trade-wind ocean passage. Once again I have the 'moon watch'. It's well disappeared when it's Ray's turn though so its back to black at midnight.
Before tea (dinner) we were discussing when best to eat. This subject sorted itself when we decided to immediately flog clocks. We are now officially 1 hour behind UT/GMT/local time at home. So we will have 25 hours in this 24 hour run - sort of a good fiddle eh? As we head further west we will need to do this three more times. Sue informs me home UK is wet and windy. It's bit like that here, more accurately wet (all around us) windy (from behind us) plus warm (22ºC night/25ºC day) and sunny (for most of the day). Also a complete absence of passing traffic and local shopping.
1200'ish As sunbreak approached our boat speed was consistently below 4kn and our heading slightly north of west. So, time to furl our genoa and put the donk on. As morning twilight became established squiddy No.2 went for a swim. Felt a bit tight because squiddy N.2 is in a terrible state - half eaten it is! Nevertheless squiddy was begging to go and gagging to catch us a fishie. Ray arose shortly after 0800 and his words were "Engine on then? I think I'm gonna take a shower." ........ and he disappeared for'd to his ablutions zone. As I stepped up into the cockpit I immediately became aware of our predicament. Squiddy No.2 was being gobbles up by a ferocious predator. Like the cavalry I speed purposefully to the rescue. I arrived at the bitter-end and the only thing preventing squiddy 2, line and all. I had already reduced donk rpm to a tick-over and as we slowed to about 3kn I braced myself to take the strain then lifted the rod from it's holder. My supa-dupa knot had worked (fort
unately). "What size fish is on the end of here?" I wondered as I struggled to take some line in. When Ray appeared in the cockpit half an hour later I told him I had been 'working' this fish since he went for his shower and will need some timely assistance if we are to land it. I passed the rod to Ray and he settled to take the strain and continue reeling-in slowly, bit by bit. I collected my lump hammer, leather gloves and life jacket from below. Then dug-out my spear gun & gaff hook from the aft locker. Ray passed the rod back to me and I prepared to draw-in to look at our future face to fsce 'man to fish! Eventually the fish neared the surface close by our stern. Bright colours reflected through the water. "It's tuna" I said "The biggest we will have caught!". With loaded spear gun & gaff-hook at hand I clipped-on. Standing on our swimming steps my leather gloves slipped around the
line. Now, as I took-in line by hand, Ray took up on the reel. As the tuna broke through the surface we stared each other. Not a moment to loose the fate of the tuna was sealed as our gaff hook dug into its flesh (about the third time of trying!!!!). Up onto our aft deck (all in one precarious movement) then at Ray's implicit insistence. death of the tuna came swiftly as it's brains exploded instant the lump hammer struck. Within half an hour or so it was gutted (yuck) de-scaled (very messy) be-headed (wouldn't stop lookin' am me) and sliced-up (in our cockpit bath tub) boxed & bag and 9/10ths into the freezer. We have 6 x 2 meals in the freezer and 1 x 2 fresh tuna for tonight. What's left of squiddy 2 is resting because we have no more spare capacity in freezer at this time! Now, half past nine I could have some breakfast. Since then stitching repairs to both gib & genoa have been completed and Ray turned-out another scrummy dinner (lunch) (croissant, melon, grapes, pate, cheese, S
orano ham & a beer! Needless to say Ray was getting little annoyed, as he said "The plates were stuck where I put them but the food kept slipping off the plates because the melon is slippy".
So, a very pleasant and eventful morning. Very fulfilling. 2 x awkward sewing jobs done and well fed into the bargain. When Ray said at lunch "I think you better get some sleep this afternoon because you look tired" I just want to get my knees working again. Sewing the foot of our genoa under sail, clipped on, kneeling on the deck stretching over the rail, sewing slowly, slowly can be quite an adventure.
Here's our latest progress:
Having flogged clocks yesterday evening we have a 25 hour day. Barbados is now just 1944NM away (as the crow would try & fly)
In last 25 hours we have sailed and donked an incredibly good 124NM through the water. (Not setting any records are we?) and we have shortened our distance towards Barbados by a phenomenally good 115NM. Considering the lumpy seas we have and relatively light winds this is good.
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham = m0hng
At 06/01/2014 15:43 (utc) our position was 23°40.33'N 027°17.17'W