Tuya handed over steering to Stewart as a new wind was arriving. At first it was just gentle puffs, arising from astern. To feel them on our face meant it was already faster than our ground speed which was 5 knots. That should be enough to fill the kite so we shut the engine down at 0815 and hoisted the kite. It just filled. By 0930 a nice 7 kt SE had us broad reaching toward 340°M and right on course. Kite staying full.
The equator, where the world spins the fastest, where all the worlds weather is born, where all the swells from past storms in both hemispheres collide creating a heaving silvery surface on which Luckyfish tossed and lurched like a kid in a giant bouncy castle.
At 1130 we played the “guess the days mileage” game, an easier one today as we spent half the day motoring. Stew 100 nm, Zaya 94, Tuya, 98. And the miles run was??? 101.0 making Stew the winner 3 days running and putting us 406.2 nautical miles from Waypoint 2.
10 February, 2016
1130 289.1 to WP2 117.1nm 24hr run. Zaya wins!. (117 Z, 120 S, 127 T).
Staring out the galley window, seas of same colour, shapes, character, flying fish, cumulus clouds of all ages – memories of view through the Ellinis port hole, almost 50 years earlier. The meaning of PPYC, bridge, decision to drive in. Gary at Bay of Islands. MIRAY, all seems like folly since then. This was the true lifestyle. No encumbrances.
Earworms were coming thick and fast today. Definitely a heightened state of awareness out here. Brain is busy doing whatever it wants. – Head and Shoulders, Leftfield – no doubt from the rough ride we were having in beam seas, and There’s a train a-coming – (people get ready) – no doubt a warning after the 2.5 nm near miss with a ship a few days ago. We had been sitting in the pod chatting and not keeping a good watch. I was looking at Tuya, seated at the rear of the pod when suddenly I notice a large tanker passing by off our stern. We re-visited our watch procedures after that. Rastaman vibration – dreams of Caribbean.
The fishing drought breaks in the evening, with a fine Wahoo.
11 FEBRUARY, 2016
1130 194.1nm to WP2 95nm 24 hr run, Zaya wins again!.
Slow night slow day ~3kts of boatspeed in 6 to 7 kts SE wind. Romeo steering under kite. Kite just full and we are lucky to have self-steering wind speed and direction, all just enough!, (but slow). Girls try plastic repairs to bucket after last nights breakage when filleting our wonderful wahoo. No ships again, for days. Calm sea with occasional 2-3m swells. Swallow came to visit and landed for some rest. Had wahoo steaks on BBQ breakfast.
The wahoo – what a debut!. Casting and retrieving a brightly coloured squid lure on 40lb braid line with a wire trace. 3rd cast, lure almost retrieved and getting ready to cast again in a calm tail wind under kite – then hello! Wahoo 8’ in the air and 10’ away looking at me. Barely time to digest what and why? He plunges back in the sea, my line goes tight and drag whirs and he goes down down down. We have our first decent fish.
We are not too fussed about heading, steering 350° to 330° most of the night to keep spinnaker full. Now, at 1515 we are steering under Romeo 300° – 290° with kite just full. Staying to right of track means we can bear down in the gusts (precious few last few days) or tighten up in the lulls which tend from the S/SW.