*Updated with photos 12/11/18
The day we left Las Palmas, we had some issues with the water maker, and it took several of the guys a couple of hours to fix it. The actual water maker is down in one of the engine holds and it’s a pretty cramped space for the guys to climb into!
Ultimately I don’t think they even know what happened or how it got fixed but we’re so grateful it did! We have some extra bottled water on board for emergencies but we’re definitely counting on the water maker for the passage.
On Friday, our fishing lures worked their magic and brought us this lovely mahi mahi! Arturo reeled it in for us so it’s his victory! Several other cruisers told us they prefer to hand line fish, so since none of us onboard are expert fisherman, we decided to forego the expensive rods and reels and try the handlining instead. Catching a fish like this our first day out was fantastic luck! It wasn’t our first catch though… we had a couple we had to throw back before it.
Our first Mahi!
Grilled Mahi feast!
Not having grown up in a fishing family, I guess I didn’t realize how messy it is! Fish have a LOT of blood. We don’t have a good space to clean them and since this catch was so big (about 70cm), we spent a lot of time dumping buckets of seawater on the teakwood deck to clean all the blood and fish guys off… yuck! Later on Pietro found he had another fish on the line! Yes! But when he pulled the line in, an entire section of line with the sinker and lure we’re gone!! The consensus was that one of the connecting rings on the sinker fell apart. Bummer! 🙁
Bob and I went on shift 1-4am and talked a lot about wind angles and went over the man overboard procedures for both sailing and motoring. I’ve never actually steered the boat manually so if we find a nice calm day on the main crossing, we’ll probably practice those skills for the whole crew. Later on Saturday morning, the guys changed the connections on the sinkers to fishing line and sent the lines back out. The wind shifted and we started to hit the waves on the bow. A few turns coiled up one of the fishing lines so we decided to reel it in, but as soon as it was untangled, we lost the end of it! Apparently it had snapped after fouling and when we unwound it, it flew away into the sea – more fishing gear gone and no more fish to show for it! Apparently we’ve angered the sea somehow 🙈🙊🙉 We suffered more technical issues with our VHF radio not working, which they guys managed to fix, and our AIS completely failing. Made bread in the bread maker but instead of rising, it came out with a crater on top. 🤦🏼♀️ Rough day… tomorrow has to be better!
The sea was calmer on Sunday morning and so I tried some yoga on the front of the boat. It wasn’t easy but I managed a few sun salutations. Win! But then got somewhat dizzy with ears ringing. Lots of reading once I was stabilized again. If I didn’t read, I don’t know what I’d do with all my time on passage. So far, I’ve been too seasick to attempt video games. Made bread around 4:30pm – crater again 🤷🏼♀️ Since provisioning was done in multiple rounds and different stores and countries, I’ll try a different yeast next time and see if that makes my bread prettier. Our 10pm – 1am shift was pretty boring until around 11:45 when the wind started to pick up quite a bit to about 16knots sustained with gusts up to 22knots. We’d been motoring and thought about taking advantage of the winds to sail instead, but Bob spotted a squall looming to the east and heading our way so we decided to wait it out. At shift change, Bob and Chris pt up the code zero sail to do a little sailing but we heard Chris take it down about half an hour later, apparently the winds died out after the weather passed.
Fishing lines went out again Monday morning in hopes of a nice catch, but after several hours we’d had no bites. The guys are always tinkering with things (the sail trim, the fishing lures and sinkers, etc) because there’s just only so much reading one can do! Chris pulled one of the lines in to make sure it was still there, given our history of broken lines, and discovered the safety cork still on the hook!! 🤦🏼♀️🤣 (British accent) No wonder we haven’t caught anything! 🤣🤣🤣The guys had put those corks on so that they wouldn’t get hurt when digging in then tackle box or changing lures. Safety first! I helped pull some lines to put up the jib and code zero to do some sailing! My shoulders are sore from the wobbly chaturanga pushups I did yesterday trying to keep my balance on the bow! I feel like a true sailor today in my braided unwashed hair and baseball cap, or at least a true sailors wife ⛵️💁🏼♀️🧜🏼♀️ Did some sailing downwind wing on wing, which is the prettiest sailing in my opinion, with sails out to both sides. Four dolphins were swimming alongside us a bit and one curious one followed us for at least 10 minutes! He’d swim to the front and check out Bob and I on the bow, then back to the stern and check out the guys back there. Funniest dolphin ever! Every time we see dolphins, they look a little different: these had white bellies but instead of grey on top, they were more speckled white and grey. Monday night we hit 2000 nautical miles!!
4-7am shift on Tuesday morning. These are the toughest shifts – totally in the dark, you’re barely awake, and it’s usually pretty cold. We heard some banging during the night, around 5am, but didn’t see anything with our flashlights. Later in the morning we found three flying fish on the front of the deck. Man, do they smell! And they leave blood and scales all over that need to be washed off the deck. One landed in the sail bag so that was interesting to clean out while the boat rocked. Later Bob found another flying fish up by the mast! I can’t believe they can get way up there! It is 12 feet off the water, but it’s in the middle of the boat, 20-25 feet from the bow. Incredible. The rest of the day was pretty much the same as every other day – hoping to catch fish, reading, watch, eating, sleeping.
Wednesday we woke up about 50 miles off the coast of Cape Verde and planned to arrive in Mindelo late in the afternoon. Chris found two flying fish and a tiny squid on the front of the boat this morning. Bob and I had the 10am-1pm shift and saw tons of flying fish!! They are seriously the weirdest and most fascinating creatures! They’re little silver specks flying across the top of the water, most of the time in small schools. Unfortunately they don’t show up well on video. Once you see land, you think you’re almost there, but it literally takes HOURS to actually reach land, and get docked at the marina. On these long passages with many boats in the ARC group, we make it a rule to fill up our gas tanks at the fuel dock upon arrival instead of waiting until the day all the boats are leaving, motoring to stay in a long line waiting.This marina has great service, and although they had us hook up on mooring balls on the bow and back the boat to the dock, the ARC crew was on the dock to assist and the marina staff were in a dinghy to help us hook up to the mooring balls. All in all, it was the easiest docking we’ve had so far! We had a celebratory beer (the last of our stores from Las Palmas) before locking up and heading out to find drinks and dinner! Feels so good to be on land again and can’t wait to explore the city!