01:45.38S 087:40.4W Pasta bugs in decline and new to us bird species. Written on 17th June 2016

Sat 18 Jun 2016 17:37

Pasta bugs in decline and new to us bird species. Written on 17th June 2016

We have had a blitz double wrapping dried foods in plastic bags and do a daily check for bugs. There will be a celebration on board on the first day we find none. Today could be the day!

Skies and sea are mostly grey at present with the odd clear blue spell. Last night I star and moon gazed, leaning backwards out of the cockpit with my head resting on a winch.

The BIG difference compared to setting off across the Atlantic last New Year’s Eve is the lack of swell. Zoonie has no resistance to her progress and can make the most of the light airs. She is sailing under full main and genoa with a light beam wind at present and it looks set to last. Sometimes we have to motor for a few hours when the wind drops right away but we are mostly sailing.

The new watch system works well, thanks Jane and Paul. We feel more rested in the day and I think we get less dehydrated because we are not up and down so much.

On the second day I made a fish stew from the Spanish Mackerel we bought in Bahia market and it lasted three evening meals. As I speak Rob is making a new daisy chain for the fishing line. If you remember the last one was bitten off by a large predator. I did offer him strips of white fabric from an old, very old, pair of knickers but he declined. So it could be fresh fried fish tonight!

I often ask myself, why are we doing this? The answer is of course manyfold but one particular reason is a curiosity about the world and all that goes on in it. This is illustrated clearly when we come across a new to us species of animal or plant. Apart from the awe whales and dolphins bring on a daily basis at the moment we have been visited by swallow tailed gulls with their pretty pale grey heads and pink rimmed spectacles fishing in Zoonie’s wash at night and our first albatross.

The waved albatross frequents the Galapagos Islands and breeds on Espanola (Hood Island) which is barely 200 miles from us. So far we have had two visit us which pleases us as they are a Near- threatened species. They have whitish heads and a browny body.

At first we thought it was a pelican but soon ruled this out as the beak is different and a pale limey-yellow. They are impressive to watch flying just above the ocean with a wing-span of up to 95 inches. Our book (Seabirds of the World) says they would be seriously affected if the 1996 plans for long lining yellow fin tuna using squid as bait were brought into practice.

Zoonie hardly leaves any wash behind her, her carbon footprint is a drop in the Ocean when she is under sail.

Our days have fallen into a routine of resting, eating, writing, reading and time is passing pleasantly, in two hours we will be on day 5 and tomorrow we will reach our waypoint south of the Galapagos Islands and then our next waypoint will be Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. The wind is backing towards the south east at the moment but it is too fickle to assume we are in the Trades yet.

Rob has just finished his new daisy chain and is setting it astern. I’m a little concerned it may attract birds so we’ll keep an eye on it.