31/05/2017 – There are fish in the sea!

If the day’s run from Sunday to Monday was depressing, Monday to Tuesday made up for it. The wind started building at noon and our speed quickly increased, so much so that a very dark night arrival became a possibility. We were a little worried because the very small sliver of moon would set before 2100, not that it would have added any illumination anyway! The upside to our good progress was that we had no need to start the engine. The day’s run to noon was a wonderful 162 nM, with a distance to waypoint of 101 nM. In fact the 6.1 knots recorded in the log was the slowest speed recorded up to our arrival in Horta. ..... ..... Monday had been listed as a working day; that is washing, ironing and mending for me. Sunday’s project, to refurbish the battle flag, took up most of Monday. The first task was ironing the iron-on interface to yellow and blue material, not clothes, then cut out the shapes and hand sew them onto the blank flag fly. It was rather annoying that the sewing machine refused to stitch anything that had come into contact with the interfacing. So, ironing completed, l looked at our estimated time to the waypoint, it was going to be a night time arrival. I never did do the washing! ..... ..... During my second night watch, 0500 to 0800 Tuesday morning, John’s fishing reel began to sing. It stopped quite quickly so I didn’t bother to wake him. Assuming that it was just a bit of weed on the hook I reeled it in. Just as the hook reached the transom all hell broke loose. A rather angry Skipjack Tuna decided that he didn’t want to feature on the dinner menu! I got a bucket ready to receive my catch, found the bottle of cheap gin to sedate the fish, then proceeded to lift him out of the water. Cue frantic waggling about, leaping out of the water etc. until he managed to disengage the hook. Result Fish 1, Starblazer 0. ..... ..... We continued sailing fast, hearing the odd boat calling rally control. The high pressure had created lift conditions which increased radio coverage. The conversation with Silver Penny, 60 nM ahead, came through loud and clear on the VHF, rather surprising for a frequency that is basically line of sight. ..... ..... On Tuesday, just as I was about to dish up dinner, John’s fishing reel started singing. This time he reeled in and landed a Big Eye Tuna. Two large fillets are now in the fridge awaiting dealing with! Result Fish 1, Starblazer 1. ..... ..... We both had one 3 hour ‘off watch’ period asleep, then we both stayed up until the finish. We approached the finish line just before sunrise, dawn was most definitely breaking. We tied up alongside the Customs dock by about 0400 Bermuda time, 0700 local time. Now it is time to go to sleep (2223) we’ll probably wake up early tomorrow morning. ..... ..... Monday night’s dinner was the regular Monday dinner from my childhood, leftover cold roast meat mash and ratatouille. In this instance the leftovers were pork from a couple of months ago, frozen down. Tuesday night was our traditional last night at sea dinner, steak with oven cooked ranch fries and fresh veg ..... ..... Joyce

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