Day 3 – Fish, Wind & Life Lessons.
Wind. Finally! We sailed without the engine for about 6 hours making good time compared to the last couple days. But with the wind came the waves and that made today well, ugh. It’s hard to explain the wave action. There is both a forward jerky movement and a side rocking. The result is what one might describe as uncomfortable. To add to the dreariness it rained. That takes this 1000 square foot platform down to about 400. Two people stuck in a 400 square foot living room…..Hrmmmm. Day 3, our least favourite day of this passage. But hey there was a bright side. We did catch 4 fish. Four Fish! We are now letting Mahi go. Too much fish.
Ben has rigged an amazing setup. Two hand lines, two rods, and a flashy fish attractor down the middle. He claims he has perfect Tuna rig. (No tuna has cared to bite as of yet). Just catch & release Mahi Mahi. Dull life.
On the Dinner menu tonight; Spaghetti or Spaghetti? Everything else is too hard to cook with these waves. In other news. Ben has proven to be a mortal Human being after admitting he felt “Drunk” for days now. He put on some Sea Bands and claimed to be sober within two minutes. It turns out it may have been a case of sea sickness… But probably just a placebo effect 😉 I on the other hand am convinced these weird little bands work and I wear them religiously on passages.
Although the wind was up for a bit today, we have been motoring for most of the time and last night the f*** starboard fuel gauge started to show 0 litres intermittently. It would flash between 32 litres and 0 litres. Now let me explain why this was a cause for concern. We are a little under half way there looking at at least 3 more days of some pretty serious motoring. 0 litres in the tank would mean my fuel burn calculations and amazingly wicked spreadsheet are way off! NOT GOOD.
Now we all know the starboard fuel gauge is a wee little liar at the best of times. (the one on port doesn’t work at all). So with the weather finally calmed way down around 10pm, we put 10 gal in each tank (37.8L) from our jerry can reserves which have been chilling under the cockpit table. We filled up the starboard engine while it was running. Ben assured me this was cool. And the gauge went up, but not like I had hoped!! Now one other tidbit that is good to know about the starboard fuel gauge is that it always reads way more when the engine is turned off. So while I am still a little nervous, Ben humours me and starts the port engine so I can check the gauge with the off engine. He throttles back to neutral and BOOM! We have fuel!! Crisis averted. Bring out the champagne and Vodka…or just go to bed.
On a side note, we have also been having some interesting engine stuff happening. The starboard engine started acting up before we left and although it was just the clutch not putting the engine in gear we felt comfortable enough to leave. It does work after multiple tries AND after you do some random sequence of events with the neutral throttle. Now it seems the Port is also a little unhappy. The RPM aren’t reading and it too looks like it may have the same clutch issue, but really we aren’t sure. Nothing critical just annoying.
We also learned another life lesson today in diesel engine maintenance. Do not check the oil level when the boat is rocking and healing. Do not then continue to panic and add oil, because you may spend half the night then removing that oil. It’s best to check oil when the vessel is on a level surface. So many good times to be had!!
Day 4 – The Captain Does As He Pleases
I’ve been called hairy canary, skritchy and porcupine face to name some of the less offensive comments. It was decided, by the Captain himself, that there would be a passage beard. Now, you see, with only two persons on board it can get a bit boring being out at sea for seven days. So to add an additional layer of entertainment, the Captain has ruled, that the beard will continue due to the amount of resistance it has met. The Admiral has no influence on this matter as it is part of “The Code” itself.
The Admiral made a fantastic dinner last night. Wasabi topped Wahoo with a complex salad. Back home, our ungrateful uncle Sean, often refers to the “3 hour salad” that was once served to him at the ski cabin. This was after he, ungratefully, watched from the couch, for three hours, slinging beers. We have affectionately adopted that term since. From “3 hour salad” to “3 hour fish” as last night. So what do I do after I’ve finished my sizeable piece of fish? I point out to Ashley “Is that one of those worms in your piece?” We’d read prior to filleting this beast that it may contain large, brown worms that are easily cut out if you are opposed to a bit of extra protein (quoted directly from the fishing bible). Well I never saw any worms to cut out so I slapped it on the barbecue and served it as-is. The 3 Hour Fish meal went overboard 3 minutes after it was served.
We’re two thirds there now. We’ve made the right hand turn to head south. Destination Puerto Rico. Before leaving I did some research of what to expect upon entry. The typical US customs & immigration dance. I also read of several vessels being lit up by helicopters many miles offshore. So I’m waiting in anticipation of getting prop washed by a US Coast Guard. We’ll see…
The Captain, as he likes to call himself, has indeed grown a very cute teddy-bear beard. He is adorable. The problem is he likes to stick those wee little prickly beard hears in the crook of my neck and give them a rub. The beard is liked aesthetically and disliked for all other reasons (food in it, prickly, Im sure I could make up more if I really had to).
Well Day 4 was a good day. Aside from the fact we didn’t catch a single fish today, it was still good. We finally cooked that WAHOOOOO! (I like the name Wahoo). On top of all that, I managed to squeeze in some Yoga, Bake some bread *yeah the real kind with yeast and kneading and all and it was delicious! Make a 3 hour salad, squeeze in a couple of hours of book reading and finally catch up on the latest episodes of Game of Thrones. A beautiful and Busy day.
My dear cute prickly bear likes to exaggerate, but granted I did loose some of my appetite for the fish when he asked if that was a worm I was working around…. there were in fact no worms in the fish, and only what we couldn’t eat went overboard :).
My turn for first shift tonight 2200 – 0300 and what a beautiful night. Moon, stars, and awesome looking clouds glowing in the moonlight.
Midnight refuelling mission.
What else could you possibly use the cockpit table for? Pretty certain it was always meant for rigging lures.
Best seat in the house…watching the fishing lines off the back.