Monday, November 30, 2009

More from the high seas

Hi all,
Well I am still making good progress, I know this for sure cos the Satelite has switched over automaticaly to West Atlantic MET AREA 4 now, instead of East. The weather reports from the USA are excellent, they come in every 6 hours with a three day forecast for Met Area 4, Met area 1 UK and Met area 2 France should take note, as they give only 12 hour forecasts every 12 hours which is pretty useless to say the least.
Passed a Merhchant ship at midnight my time, heaved too and stopped, all his deck lights were on, so maybe he was having a problem, he turned away to show his red light to my red light as I went past, then went back into the wind and waves stopping again. Then this morning at 0700 my time I spotted a yacht to starboard about 12 miles away to my NW, I can see him still as I write, and can not say if we are getting closer or if he is overtaking me.
I am going to try fishing today, just dont fancy catching a blue marlin or any other big fish, just need a little one for my din's
Two weeks at sea tomorrow at 0930 your time, 0730 for me, I think Ive got another 11>14 days to go, but the forecast says higher winds the closer I get to Barbados so I'll see what happens.
more later

Friday, November 27, 2009

Routine duties

Hi All,
Thought I'd tell you my daily routines.
When it gets light I go round the deck if its not to rough, I check all the shackles and rig to make sure nothings coming undone, whilst doing that I am throwing the dead flying fish off the deck, avaraging between 8-15 every morning! bit rough this morning so will leave that job for a bit. I then put the positions on the chart before sending them to Carolyn to enter on the blog map. Then do a blog post if I feel in the mood.
Yesterday I ran the watermaker for the first time, required the engine starting, fist time since leaving Gomera! water was a neccecity as I've ran out of things to wear, and have to wash some gear, it got dirty then went in washbag, that happened at least 4 times with each piece, but even I carn't put anything back on again now. (PAIN) So today will finish that, the gear has been in the bucket all night, fermenting by now no doubt, havent looked yet. Water Maker works fine, made 15-20ltrs, carnt tell exact as dont have gauge on watertank, but filled a stowaway bag first to see how much was coming out. The water does taste very nice and I drank quite a bit too.
Have learned to do just one job a day, that way I don't get distracted, already been there and the outcome is not good. Fishcake day in particular.
I am running out of cig's as well now, so I won't be able to even talk to myself soon without getting my head bit off!
Have a bit of rolling bacy left, and as a last resort 5 hand rolled, while I watched, cigars, famous apparently (Winston Churcill used to smoke them) made in a shop for me at Santa Cruz La Palma. But think I'll stick to my plan for them, Ill tell about that when it happens.
Have to clear the decks of the fish now, before they become one with Guiding Light.
More later

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Technical Jargon Day

Hi All,
Explanation of todays events for the technical and none technical followers and everyone who is watching my progress.
Today at 0600hrs GMT -1 hr UTC behind UK pos 14,27.05N 027,51.64W, I started my 'Great Circle Sailing route' to waypoint 6 (Barbados) on the map.
this, wind permiting, will be a straight line for me from 0600hr position to that waypoint. It will save me some miles and give me a slightly quicker passage time. Explanation of GCS for those who are chalanged in this dept. this includes me, is.......
Imagine an orange with 24 segments in it (after you peeled it of course) the top and bottom would be planet earth north and south poles. The segments widest part the equator. each segment going north or south gets narrower toward the point they all meet, these are lines of longditude. To plot accurate positions on a chart, these lines are made parallel, so drawing a straight line anywhere on a chart, other than on the equator east west, or north and south, is impossibe, as every second of latitude which = 1 nautical mile at the equator, (slices of orange the bar person puts into your drink) gets bigger (thicker) the further north or south you travel. (dont think that applies to bar persons orange slice size though).
They have special charts were all these lines are drawn as is, and they do get narrow! this is were I draw my straight line; Were this line crosses each line of longditude I plot that position on my passage chart, I then join the dots all up with staight lines, and bingo! I get a curved line on my chart, giving me the course to steer.
Now cut the orange in two top to bottom, leaving 12 segments in each half. Each segment adds up to 15 deg (180 divided by 15 = 12 hours of time) of longditude. Were you halfed it, on the equator of that half, one side is Grenwich. The other 'the international date line' +/- 12 hours at 180 deg. Each 15 deg is 1 hour of 'Time' so as I am going west, every 15 deg, I will put my clocks back 1 hour, I put them back yesterday 1 hr and today 1 hour at 0700hrs to agree with my present position on the planets surface, So I am now -2 UTC. 2 hours behind you lot in the UK. I will put them back again when I reach 45 deg longditude. Barbados is just short of 60 deg long another hour there, Barbados being -4 UTC.
Whew, Hope you got that. If you didn't ask Tack in the Bull, he will tell it better than me. (sorry Tack)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Update log

Hi All,
Mondays, not sure but mine wasn't the best day I've had.
To carry on, there's a bucket with 6 fish in it! its 10am Monday and I'm feeling peckish, how do I eat these little things? had a think and 'fish cakes' popped in my brain, the idea wouldn't go away,
so, me-thinks, what are they made from and how do you make them? answer = mash potato and of course the 6 waiting fish, Im starving now thinking of fish cakes, haven't got time to boil potato's so weres the packet mash gone, then I thought they could be the ten unidentifiable shiny plasic bags I found in the stores! Bingo cadburys smash, now never having made that either had to think about that too. To cut a long story here, after producing 8 misshapen things that looked like no fishcake I've ever seen before, and having to wash the cockpit out, and every cooking utensil and pan I posess needing a clean, + a full washdown of myself, all this to remove the residue of the preceeding 4hrs!! (PS. the six fish didnt survive this process and were subsituted by 2 tins of tuna (that needed another think sesh))
I must say in my defence the wind had increased up to 20>22 knts during this caper, boat speed was up to 7.8Knts and the waves were chucking the boat and me about a bit, well thrown about a lot. Lessons learnt, don't make fishcakes in a F5. Its now Tuesday and I've only got one left, they did taste ok honest.
Well were am I?... I arrived at my waypoint just north, 2.5 miles, off the coast of Sal in Cape Verde Islands at 1830hrs Monday (last) night, made it in 6 days and 9 hrs.
I couldn't see the island at all as the visibility has been dropping for 2 days due to blown sand from the Western Sahara Desert, and was now less than 2 miles, wind was still 21 knts E, the very direction I needed to go. So decision time again, I wasn't hungry, (as above) I've not touched the main body of stores yet, I'm doing 7+knts,????, then a diti came to mind. "When you are up to your neck in the swamp, surounded by Aligators, its very dificult to remember your original plan was to drain the swamp. Up to my neck = sailing along, surounded = Islands, swamp drain = cross the Atlanic! So thats the decision, not stopping and I'll drain the swamp. At 0930hrs today I started my second week, miles covered 850, Position: 15,53.3N , 23,58.81W, Dist to go to WPT 6 = Barbados is 2,133 Nm = 2>3 weeks ish.
I'm on my way across!
if anyone leaves me a comment, (Please do) please remember I can not view the blog at sea and will have to wait till I get tuther side to read them, but will keep writing to it on passage.
More coming

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sat, Sun update

Hi all, To keep everyone up to date, there was an increase in the wind about 0200hrs Sun. to a F5, its stayed that way since, still keeping an eye on Fred, caught a breaking wave port broadside in this crossed swell, took a greeny on board, aft hatch was closed but had forgotten fwd one, so pillow and aft end of bed soaked again.
Don't get to see a lot when the sea becomes a bit rough, but saw plenty of flying fish, in fact hundreds.
Question? when swimming they are a school of fish, when the whole school comes out the water at the same time is that called 'A Flock of Flicking Flying Fish'? cos they go a long long way by dipping their tails back in the water, flicking like mad many times, and keep airborne for ages. Found 3 on deck Sunday morning + 1 squid, last night however they behaved like mackeral giving themselves up in droves, they fly quite different at night coming out and gaining considerable hieght, I caught 6 live ones, put them in the bucket for today, and will be trying to eat one later, this morning going round the deck on routine duties I threw about 30 dead ones overboard!
I am only 60 Nm from the island of Sal this morning, think I will arrive in the dark, so don't know whether to carry on to Mindelo on the Island of Sao Vicente, 2 friends Sue and Andy on s/y Spruce are there already and that would take me to Tuesday morning. Trouble is I would not go back to Sal and then miss seeing it. Ill see what the weather is like on arrival and decide then.
More coming.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fri-Sat update

Hi all,
Friday was quite quiet, the wind and waves died down and a comfortable days sailing ensued. I didn't get up to much at all, in the afternoon it began to get very hazey and the humidity increased a lot, my hygrometer said 67& rel, as the evening progressed the boat was literaly dripping wet and water was pouring off the sails.
At 9pm I was treated to another spectacular event, this was the young squid (4>6" long) had come up from the deep to feed on the plankton, and the dolphins had come to feed on them, wow, the squid can turn on a very powerfull flash of light as they shoot off to get away, so all around me at various depths were these lights, hundreds of them, many were zooming out the water over the boat (found 8 on deck this morning)the dolphins were using my boat I think as a light source and I could see the trails of bioluminesence as they wizzed all over the place, only lasted about 15-20 minutes, but very interesting.
Today Saturday, the wind started to pick up about 0300hs this morning went from F1 up to a F5 by 0330 and has stayed that strong all day, the sea has got very big now and as I'm sailing pretty close to down wind have been keeping my eye on Fred the pilot, I can not knock his performance, every time I think its about to broach, Fred calmly brings it back on course, I couldn't possibly have kept this up myself all day, so still very impressed with Hydrovane. Present Position: 21,3.29N , 20,51.35W
Speed: 5 knots, Course: 195 deg.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Log 2- G > C

Hi all, Thursday 19
Going very well here, having a nice wind blowing, sea is not rough but being the Ocean some waves are humongously big.
Early in the dawn I thought I could see another yachts light in the far distance, so as the sun climbed above the low cloud I was concentrating on that spot at 0910hrs when there was a very loud whoosh of a whale spouting off, I looked and it was alongside the boat on the starboard side, the noise had made me jump out of my skin, a Pilot whale had sneaked up behind me to pay a visit, about 24-30 ft long, I rushed down below to get the camara came back but for an hour and a half while he went round crossing very close to the bow, dropping back portside, then coming round the stern up the starbside only spouting every 5 mins or so, I didn't get a shot of him, well nearly but all you see is the foam, he did trick me a couple of times and blew off behind me when I was expecting him to be on the other side, I crossed my fingers hoping he wouldn't have a go at mating with Guiding Light though, they do glide effortlessly through the water and it was a sight to see up so close.
Rest of the day has gone very well, making good speed and keeping on course with a good wind and direction.
While checking the stores of fresh veg in the afternoon noticed the colly was going off really quick, so tonight have had a roast chicken again, took pic to prove it, lovely, had to gybe tack at 1915hrs cos a bit too bumpy and couldn't get it out the oven, stayed that way doing 5 knts while having my din dins.
Nice wind is still blowing so expecting no drama's tonight
More soon

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Log 1 Gomera to Cape Verde Islands

Hi everyone,
Plan A has been initiated, only difference was leaving time, the forecast wind came through 3 hours early with heaven forbid Rain! havent had any of that for 4 months ish, I wasn't ready to go and by the time I was about 4pm it was gusting as well so decided to cancel and go Tuesday.
So left Marina La Gomera at 0930hrs, wind had steadied during the night and Gill + Dennis from the s.y. Te Bheag (Llew and myself met them in Baiona) helped me leave the berth, they left for Cape Verde as well on Tuesday, think it was about 12 noon, I had good wind till about 1.30pm then the wind suddenly dropped as I went through the shadow of Gomera, Gill and Dennis were a long way behind but started to catch me up very quickly, I sat there and watched doing 1.3 knts, as they came closer, I could see they had the wind no prob, and when about 2 miles away I got it too.
My plotted route is too Bridgetown Barbados and the plotter gave 2,996 NM to destination, 780 NM to Cape Verde, have passed on the posns for the map at the bottom and my current Position is: 26,26.27N , 17,29.59W Speed: 3 knots, Course: 230 deg.
wind is still with me this morning but not as strong as during the night.
Must admit I left a bit nervous, it is a long way to go, but after a night at sea and watching the dawn this morning I'm back to normal.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Attempt No.1

Hi Folks,
Well you can never be sure what's going to happen, but, I am going to give leaving here a good try later today! I just have to get the fresh food in, and maybe find a bit of paraffin (this has proved more difficult than I thought). still have enough for a couple of months though so no prob. Have escape routes close by, could still go to Herrio as haven't been there yet. The Plan A is to head for Cape Verde (stop?) then across to Barbados, Granada, Other depending on wind etc. Will be posting posn's so they will be available on the blog. I know you all wish me luck, I,ll be touching wood myself all the way across guaranteed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Russell and Lura leave

sv / Luturna II leaving Marina La Gomera, Russell and Lura are bound for Africa, Cape Verde, Brazil and Caribbean 3pm Thursday 12
wish good sailing to them, tried the bread works a treat.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pic update

Hi all,
New camera more pic's. The quiet beach just around the headland. And in case there are those who dont believe! my roast pork dinner, oceans of gravy, Mmmmmm. The local pub with very kind bar person, and a friend from Stuttgart. And last the view south, the way I and we travelers will go when we leave.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Hi again, been to the camera shoppe and its a no hope for the camera, I'm afraid I just had to buy another one, I have not been that lucky with digy cameras, went through three in China! and have still got my old Canon film cameras from 20 years ago! Anyway two pics of San Sabastian, 1 of the town and beach you can see by the palms how windy it is, and 2 of the marina Gomera, see if you can spot me! New camera is a pentax they seem good photos.

Friday, November 6, 2009

At Marina Gomera

Hi all,
Just a quickie, wind a bit high for a couple of days so staying here, have got an internet connection at last but as camera is busted can not post any pics. Thanks to 'K', Alex and Jerr for your comments, they are always welcome. Isabelle, Isabel (GaliZia) and Carol (China) who all left msg on my e-mail, nice to be in touch. Will see what I can do about the camera. Meeting many fellow travelers, nice sundowner chat with some of them last night.
More Later

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trip to Gomera

Hi Folks,
Well wanted to leave on Sat. but wind was very strong and forecast was the same for next couple of days, enjoyed the Halloween celibrations of Sanra Cruz in an Italian Resturant/Bar, not eating, drink only, too posh. Hundreds of children walking about the city dessed up as witches etc.
Left at 0600hrs Tuesday into quite a confused sea, Lumpy is the way I would describe it, heres the sad part, the view leaving was really good so took a couple of shots, waited a bit as the wind picked up and thought good for a movie clip, but the camera woundn't switch on! Ive tried charging the battery but no go, will have to see about that.
This journey was the most uncomfortable I have ever had, during the trip the wind went 360 degrees with about an hour of no wind in between each change of direction, it started NE then E then SE then S then W then SE again then NW, N and back to NE, once changed it blew up to F5 for about an hour and back down then stopped again, a very bumpy ride changing the sail set up all the time. Checked out Los Christianos Tenerife hoping to have a rest at about 1900hrs hoping to stay there for the night, but the port now has a ferry and no space for visitors, so carried on to Gomera. Arrived at Puerto Santiargo Gomera at 0600hrs, the view of Tenerife was amazing as the Sun slowly came and lit up the volcano, no flipping Camera, but again they also have a ferry and the visitors space is the terminal now, so again carried on to San Sabastion and Marina Gomera, arriving at 1000hrs this morning, Position: 28,5.34N , 17,6.46W a very busy Port for yachts, a lot of them are here preparing to cross the Atlantic, members of the non ARC cruising fraternity. Have heard there is a anchorage further round the coast so might take a look at staying there for a bit in a couple of days. Must see here first.
more later