The crew make the most of the quiet conditions before the wind picks up


Before leaving Las Palmas we clubbed together and bought a rod, reel and some tackle suitable for Dorado and we have been putting that to good effect. We caught our first Dorado last Monday, but we couldn’t get in on board and it slipped the hook – as the one handed fisherman bragged, it was ‘that big’.

We’ve landed two since then and have fish on the menu this evening. The last fish took the collective efforts of three to wind in and land, aided by a makeshift but effective gaff made from a coat hanger and a deck scrubber handle. There will be no more fishing today as we have enough to eat and we are sailing too fast to land anything caught. Fortunately we have not been hit by any tuna taking our lures, which might be a problem.

Marine life

We have not seen any dolphins today though we saw some small pods on last Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday brought us a large and most specacular display of synchronised swimming and breaching by dolphins, worthy of Buzby Berkley himself. So far we have no definite sightings of whales but we live in hope.

Other yachts and weather:

From the armada of some 220 boats that left Las Palmas, we are now in contact with only 1 yacht which we are overhauling. This time last night we had the ocean to ourselves but by 22.00 we spotted mast lights from three yachts dipping on the horizon, 5-10 miles away. These we also overhauled steadily throughout the night.

It’s a vast place and it’s easy to lose so many yachts from sight as each takes its best shot at the route across. The radio schedules provide position reports as well as weather and other information. We have access to other weather information sources and can download files with detailed wind information.

Today has been the best sailing so far with the wind picking up, allowing us to surge at 11 knots and record 9.1 Nm in the last hour. The noise is getting impressive as we surge along; the quiet hiss and gurgle of gentle sailing is lost in the hissing, rumbling, roar of the wake. So far we have not seen the long impressive swells of the Atlantic Ocean, but they will come no doubt. The cloud streets typical of the trade winds are all about us and I hope in the days to come to be able to report 24 hour runs of 200 miles or more. Watch this space.