First Mates Log

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Day 1 – 9th December 2012

Set out at a good pace with the
ginnaker up doing 7+ knots. We look particularly beautiful with
this
sail up – very colourful. Within a few hours we were overpowered
and the ginnaker was replaced with the Genua. Hagai had also
caught
another tuna. This one was the biggest fish he’d ever caught and
we
guesstimated that it was about 12kg. It took both Thomas and Hagai
to
get it into the boat. Hagai was thankful that he had purchased a
broom handle to extend the gaff hook because without it, it might
have got away. The fish had florescent purple on its side. It was
quite beautiful. It was reasonably cool and I completed my watch
in
day clothes but wearing two jumpers.

Day 2 -10th December

Reasonably calm still with the wind
behind. I was up for the 5am watch where I witnessed falling
stars,
several ships, florescent plankton and several planets – aren’t
they lining up soon? I completed my Spanish lesson and then rocked
onto my Ipod. Giskard, the wind pilot was being cooperative so I
was
able to do some yoga too. I finished the watch by making fruit
salad
for everyone. The others will be eating more fish today. They have
to
try and get through it although Hagai has bought some extra salt
for
drying some out. Had a pod of about twenty dolphins swim with us
for
about quarter of an hour. Decided to do a bit of writing and then
catch some sleep before my watch at 8pm.

Day 3-11th December

A beautiful sunny day with only about
ten knots of wind. I had an 8am shift so I did some exercises and
danced while everyone else slept. Even managed to have a sun bath.
We
have lots of fresh fruit still so I managed to make a yummy fruit
salad. Once the others got up we put the ginnaker up and we made a
bit more speed. By the afternoon we were overpowered and the wind
was
picking up to a predicted twenty knots. The others are struggling
to
get through the big fish they caught on day one. No sea sickness
so
everyone has an appetite at least. Just as well I stocked up and
planned as if everyone would be alright. If they hadn’t of been,
some
of the fruit would have gone off, but we’re working through it all
quite well. Made sushi for lunch and had a stir fry for dinner.
The
others had fish on the side. It was a wonderful day sailing. We’re
a
little bit behind schedule because of the two light days but now
we’re making good time. Giskard is doing a fine job at the moment
and
he gives us a good break from the helm. We’d had a terrible metal
against metal grinding noise on the rudder on a few of our
passages
but it became really loud on the way to the Canaries. Thomas
investigated it and found it not to be a technical problem but
just a
nuisance. The problem was fixed with a solid piece of metal
replacing
a tube of metal between some vital parts of the steering. So far,
we
haven’t been inflicted with the noise again.

Day 4 12/12/12 How cool is that date.
If I were a Mayan, I would have chosen that one for the end of the
world. So much more impressive than 21/12/12.

A day of little to report except than
one gets the opportunity to see how one behaves in close quarters
with no escape. Actually, I don’t want to escape. The captain is
considering calling into the Caverty Islands for an opportunity to
stock up on fresh food and put more money onto the Satellite
phone.
It is using up a lot more than he expected. This would add an
extra
day to the passage but it would give us a break. As tempting as it
is, we stocked up with the idea that we wouldn’t be calling into
anywhere else. Fresh food would be nice for Christmas though. The
crew is divided about how they feel. Some would like to just keep
going while the weather is good. It’s turning out to be a long
passage when you consider the stopovers in the different places.
It’s
the captain’s call. We had a couple of birds flying around the
boat
today. Maybe they’re resting on the boat somewhere.

Day 5 13/12/12

Another warm day today. Well it is
nice
in the sun away. I had the ‘dog’ shift last night – the 2am to
5am.
It was very difficult but I managed to get a lot of sleep either
side
of it. I was lucky when the captain came to wake me up for the
shift,
I had moved entirely around the other way and was resting
precariously on the edge of the bed. So glad I didn’t end up on
the
floor. It’s a fair distance from the bed and it would’ve hurt. I
like
my night shifts on my own. I can do my Spanish lessons and
practice
my pronunciation without embarrassing myself. I can sing and dance
away to my ipod. I was a bit sleepy during the shift but I had to
steer all the way because Giskard wasn’t handling the shifts in
the
wind. It was tricky making sure not to jibe. Feeling a bit like
Superwoman having jogged on the spot for a nautical mile,
completed
my yoga routine, practised my Spanish, cooked a pasta and danced
to
Ricky Martin plus others – all on my last watch tonight. Giskard
was a little unreliable and I had to wait for the captain to wake
up
from his siesta to begin cooking. Hitting the sack early because I
have the 5am watch. I love the cruising lifestyle. I couldn’t
think
of doing anything better.

Day 6 14/12/12

An interesting twenty-four hours with
a
bit of cabin fever breaking out. I continue to exercise, sing and
dance. The watches seem so repetitive and seem to come around
quicker
every day. I’ve been busy writing too. It helps keep my mind
active.
Keeping an eye out for wild life. Had a little swallow that visits
the boat flying around. Decided to keep on heading towards the
Caribbean and not do the stopover.

Day 7 15/12/12

Happy week on crossing the Atlantic.
We
are a little over a third of the way but the winds are slowing
down a
bit. We are getting to the end of our fresh food so it is time to
begin growing sprouts for salads and getting creative. I am a
canned
food snob I have realised and I could’ve been a little more eager
to
buy canned potatoes etc to bulk the meals up. But the thought of
eating them if we didn’t need them turned me off. They would rust
in
the cupboard over time. I couldn’t stand them when we went camping
as
kids. Mum would feed them to us all the time. Maybe I should have
considered that the others didn’t have my mother or the same
copious
camping trips as a child. (not that I’m complaining). Oh, well,
there’s fifteen cans of baked beans if it all goes to hell. We
have
used up one 300 litre water tank already so we are making water to
drink and use in the galley. We still have 350 litres in the other
tank but we obviously need to cut back because we still have at
least
13 days to go. We had three herons visit us today. They spent
about
two hours flying around us coming really close before they came
and
rested on the back deck when just Ori was in the cockpit. Thomas
turned off the wind generator as they were flying awfully close to
it
at times. They rested for a few hours, pooped on the deck and then
left.

Day 8 16/12/12

Yummy Vietnamese spring rolls for
lunch
today. Making the most of the fresh food that we have. It is nice
to
have all the raw vegetables wrapped in rice paper. We are just
sharing the one meal per day and I am making a fruit salad in the
morning. We are down to oranges and apples so I add some canned
fruit
to it. Certainly not our usual fare, but we knew that. People have
a
range of snack food that they can help themselves to but we are
trying to conserve gas a little bit too. We have another gas
bottle
and this usually lasts us two and a bit weeks for the four of us.
Hagai is a bit reluctant to catch more fish because they are so
big
out here. The last one took them four days to eat and still they
had
to throw some back to the fish. Four days of eating fish got a bit
much for them I think, although Hagai was being very creative. I
just
didn’t want it stinking out the galley. They did salt some to see
if
they could dry it. We’ll see how that goes. Just asked them and
they
threw it away because it smelt bad.

Day 9 17/12/12

Got to see my first flying fish today
and then lots more. I couldn’t believe how they changed direction
in
mid-air. They must think we’re a giant predator and they fly out
of
our way. Some of them go about thirty metres or so. Quite amazing.
We
had a swallow and a white sea bird visit us today but they didn’t
land on the boat. I think they are looking for food as we stir up
the
water.

We had a delicious curry today. Green
Thai with coconut milk. It was probably our second last fresh
vegetable meal. I was going to use the potatoes and Kumera to make
a
lasagne for Christmas day but I don’t think they will last that
long.
So we have decided to have it for the 21/12/12 – The End of the
World Day. No point saving them if the Mayans are right anyway. I
had the 8-11pm watch. I thought I saw a ship in the distance as
there
was a small light on the horizon but then I thought it might just
be
a star rising. Not many boats out here. Ori and Hagai saw one the
other day but I haven’t seen one for days. It was a long day today
because we passed a meridian line on the charts. This meant that
we
needed to add another hour to our day. Thomas and I took the extra
hour on our watches because Ori and Hagai have been having trouble
sleeping with all the rocking. I sleep like a rock and the captain
isn’t doing too badly. Better than on the way to the Canaries.

Day 10 18/12/12

Nearly half way, yippee. We are
putting
out the Ginnaker because the wind is light. We want to speed this
up.
This sail is bigger than our main and usual head sail put
together.
We are sailing down wind and it is difficult to sail to course
when
the wind gets down low because the rocking of the boat causes the
sail to collapse. We don’t want to put a spinnaker pole out as the
boat rolls too much. This is pretty hard on the rig so Thomas has
put
up an extra inner stay and put the back runners in place. The
light
last night ended up being a Swedish sailing vessel and they
contacted
Ori and Hagai, as I’d pointed it out at the end of my watch and
then
they came on. They had a chat and exchanged a bit of weather
information. I’m not sure how big they were but we passed them.
Ori
and Hagai were excited about talking to someone outside of the
boat.
I had the 5am to 8 am shift. So by eight o’clock this morning, I
had
done all my exercises: jogging on the spot for a nautical mile,
stepping sideways for a nautical mile, dancing for a nautical mile
with swinging hips, yoga and my Spanish exercises. Last night I
finished my first editing on a story I wrote for pre-teens. It’s
10
500 words long. Thomas is going to read it today to give me some
feedback. Thanks Andree for sparking the idea that I should be
writing kid’s stories. It is a great release for my over active
brain. Should keep me out of trouble. I have been writing a book
about healthy sailing but I need to be back on the net to get some
references for some of that. Plus I am gaining experience in this
area all the time so the advice I am giving can be true to form.
The
ginnaker has just gone up and it feels like we are racing now.
What a
difference. Wahoo! After doing between 4 and 5 knots all night it
feels good to be going 7+ again. Hagai brought a small flying fish
back from the front deck. It had dried out so it had been there
for a
few days at least. It was only about 3 cm long. It was pretty
ambitious flying that high for a little guy. Most of the flying
fish
we see are only skimming the water. Thomas is going to try and
upload
this to my blog via the satellite phone. I hope it works.

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