Atlantic Crossing WEEK 2 – Drama, Drama & Boredom

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Day 8 (29 Nov)
The drama returns with the head blocked for a second time so Simon & Matt are knee deep in sh** again! This time it was just a build up deposits similar to lime scale and the caustic soda from 2 days must have loosened it up. We had fresh Dorado for lunch using crushed stale cornflakes as a crispy coating, we are catching so many that most are put back as Simon & Chris aren’t big fans of fish. I made the most amazing lemon drizzle fairy cakes by just making it up no recipe or scales needed. Just as I was about to do the great unavailing of them a giant pod of dolphins turned up to steal my thunder! They had lots of little baby dolphins and they were completely in sink with their mums (or dads I can’t tell the difference). Then both fishing rods went crazy with a double hook up. Hours of nothing all day and then all this at once seems to be just typical.
Then early evening the engine started playing up & Simon noticed no water coming from the exhaust which clearly is a cooling issue. It was too dark & then engine too hot to do anything, so we turned it off and just took it easy through the night in the current light winds. Fingers crossed it is a straight forward fix!
Day 9 (30 Nov)
No engine is a big deal, as we need to run an hour a day to keep our batteries topped up so that all our navigation electronics stay on, including the GPS. If we can’t fix it we’ll have to reply on a hand held battery powered GPS that only tells you your position. First thing in the morning Simon conducted some basic checks and as we had suspected it was loose hose that we’d had some previous issues when conducting engine repairs in Spain about 6 weeks ago. It didn’t take long to fix and turned out to be relatively minor drama.
However now all the drama from the last few days is over today has actually been a bit boring! Even catching Dorado is becoming boring as it seems to be too easy and we are landing them everyday. The boys are still hoping for a tuna, but we did enjoy some pretty amazing fresh Dorado (Mahi mahi) goujorns for dinner.
Day 10 (1 Dec)
Last night the wind picked up and this morning we are back unto 20 knots again which is perfect and the boys took down the foresail pole as this is no longer needed. Unfortunately along the wind inevitably comes the swell (sea conditions) and we are back to being uncomfortable & living onboard a Waltzer again. We are adapting to it as best we can, I really have a whole new understanding of the words ‘Sea Legs’. You also need to have as many arms as an octopus when in the galley to stop everything falling over. We are almost at the half way point and things are beginning to drag a little, but I suspect this is normal at this point in the passage.
Day 11 (2 Dec)
Felt really groggy this morning, Matt said I looked hungover! Must be due to sleeping on what feels like a fairground ride. Simon, Chris and I noticed something yellow floating in the water and decided to do the honourable thing and check it out. You never know it could be someone in distress or worse, so we put away the sail & motored against the wind doing 1 knot over huge waves. It was so quick & easy to loose sight of it even in day light and it really brought home the scary reality of how dangerous a man overboard situation would be in these conditions. When we got close we found it was nothing but a tangled mess of fishing floats & a buoy. Simon landed the biggest Dorado so far today, we think it was around 20lbs and he spend all afternoon gloating. So far we have sailed 1363 miles and are 100 miles off the half way point.
Day 12 (3 Dec)
At 8am we finally reached the halfway point and decided to celebrate with a cooked breakfast & fresh baked bread. I knew it was a bad idea when we had to opt for fried eggs as the water for poached eggs wouldn’t stay in the pan! I’d just finished the second round of eggs and was ready to dish up when out of no where an almighty rouge wave smashed the side of the boat. There was no time to prepare for it by grabbing a rail so the force threw me across the saloon from the galley and into the chart table. I absolutely creamed in but luckily the fattest part of my body took the full impact ….. my left ass cheek!
The lads knew it was bad as instead of flashing I just remained completely silent in shock, it did nothing for my mood and knocked out whatever little moral I had left in me so I retired to bed for a time out!
Day 13 (4 Dec)
I am in a much better mood than yesterday and have mentally recovered from my accident. The novelty of the Atlantic Crossing has now fully warn off and we are all relatively bored however we are not yet climbing the walls. I feel lethargic & can’t be bothered to do anything, but have been forced to make banana cake as the fruits are now well over ripe & we are being invaded by fruit flies. We have been playing games like 20 questions in the afternoons to help pass some time and I think everyone would agree that they enjoy this social aspect of boat life. We had tins of chicken tikka for tea which were ok but smelt like dog food.
I am feeling for Scrumpington today he is fine but I think my dog sense is picking up that he would like a walk on land. I can’t wait to get him off the boat but he is kept amused with squeaky toys, tug of war & cockpit cuddles. He is also often on whale patrol but we still haven’t seen any!
Day 14 (5 Dec)
Feeling achy again after what felt like a pretty rough night & sleeping on a moving bed can’t be good….so looking forward to a comfy marina berth! I even cleaned the fridge ready for our arrival which was rancid & full of mouldy food which I forgot about. We haven’t touched the sails for a good few days, we are averaging around 5.5 knots but the rolling is irritating but hey whats new! It can be a bit boring during the day so laptops, books & social games help pass the time and Simon came up with the idea of a pub quiz & we all produce a round of questions.
We are now 2 full weeks into the journey and with a third of the way to go, so not too long before I get to turn the boat back into a home again!!!!
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