Atlantic Crossing Diary

 

Leaving Las Palmas4th

George-Yep, just heading across the Atlantic today!-Final goodbyes, disconnect the power and lets go!...alrite, a little nervous

Bridget-I feel sick

Jed-I am excited but a little nervous.

Grum-Many butterflies! Eager to get going! And I’ll be pleased when we get safely out the harbour and on our way. (later)-We’re sailing pretty nicely already-the sun has come out and we’re feeling pretty salted.

Jack-Oh yea, crossing the Atlantic? No probs, we’ll do it in two days..gulp

 First Evening Out There

5th

George-Life is good, sea’s calmed down a little so everyone is happier. Currently got a twin headsail thing going on to try to boast speed.

Grum-Big thick curry soup for lunch-just right for warm Atlantic weather-Delicious. Not much animal life around (G, J+J excepted)-saw one bird-storm petrol. B+G pretty tired, so snoozing when we can.

Bridget-Spoken to a few trevs on the ssb, doesn’t feel so lonely out here now

Jack-Have’t seen any sight of human life all day (except us, of course) not quite making enough speed but at least we’re moving.

Jed- Hmmm, been down below for ages. No sea-sickness ‘Yepy!’ Faster Faster we need to get there by x-mas.

 

Jed Trashing George in Chess6th

George-Had a good morning watch, big swells today though. Triple reefed main up to stop the rolling and Jib + Jigger to move us (nautical speak there, I’m so salty)  Hooked a tuna but he jumped off the hook. Slaughtered dad in chess. Not a great forcast for the next couple of days…

Bridget-Brilliant moonlight for night watches. Nervous about forthcoming strong winds getting south.

Jed-I got up at 1pm today. A bit of sea sickness, crackers for lunch, potatoes for dinner. Not as good fun as yesterday, big swell a few dolphins for about a minute. Going an average of 6 knots (sometimes  more) Not seen any human life for about a day.

Jack- Nasty swells today which brought along a bout of sickness for some of us. Good speed though! I got 7-8 knots on my watch. Wind is more on the beam now.

 

7th

George-Uh. Triple reefed main, reefed missen, 3 rolls in the jib, horribly confused and pretty big seas and 7-8 knots of speed….Who thought up this idea anyway?

Grum   just finished listening /talking on the radio net – seem to be spending more and more time talking to folk! “ I just can’t get off the phone” actually its very useful to hear how people are doing, their positions, sea conditions, weather etc. Bimbo bread is actually called bimbo bread. Last night we crossed the tropic of Capricorn – hardly felt the bump. Very fast exciting rollercoaster ride last night. Peaked at 9.5 knots when surfing on swells.

Bridget  sunshine and t-shirts. Still heading south fast.

Jack  3 pieces of bacon in my sarnie for lunch!- I wonder who made them!

Jed A few dolphins came and did 10 foot jumps. A bit bored now – did i say a bit? Underestimating!

 

8th

George  Very hard to sleep last night. Great progress though and we’ve seen lots of flying fish.

Grum  we are now officially in the tropics, and guess what we haven’t seen the sun!! overcast all day. I think we are in reasonable spirits, despite some queasiness- we are rolling around some. All of the boats on the net report the same. It still seems a very long way. But we’ve  done over 500 miles so1/6th. The day seems short, only 12 hours anyway plus all the boat routines to do. Engine genny checks, navigation, ssb radio, I haven’t picked up a book yet! Although had some good chess and draughts. Enjoyed last nights watch, fast and furious sailing and Georges ipod to listen to.

Bridget  flying fish. I still feel sick! Has George got a broken arm?

Jed  Loads and loads of flying fish. A bit of sea sickness. Border.

Jack  Got up at 6 to help dad with his watch. Sky is still clouded over, annoyingly

 

9th

George Whoop Whoop!  First dorado caught today. Well , first fish as well! Still very uncomfortable

Bridget   decided to start up seasickness tabs again- now feeling better. Screaming along.

Grum  the captain said “it was a dark and stormy night………….. and it was aboard double waters.  I’ll let someone else fill in the details…..sufffice to say it was tough out there.

 

10th

 

 

11th

A bit calmer the next day.George  I say again, whose idea was this?  Sorry about the failure to write yesterday but we were all engaged in other things. Such as worrying about the force 8 winds and glancing back at the 10 meter high seas and deploying warps and … the list goes on.  Today it’s a lot calmer though.

Bridget  much better- but I have given orders to leave the warps streaming until tomorrow!  1000 miles today. 1918 to go! Will we be there for Christmas?

 

12th

George a pleasant day spent watch keeping, reading and fishing. Trying a new sail formation including triple reefed main to stop the rolling a bit.

Jack  swell is calming down nicely today. We saw clear blue sky for the first time in ages this afternoon.  Still lots of flying fish of course.

Bridget  bit mis when I heard that there were more strong winds coming.

Jed  still going …….still going…… Preparing to do battle with the chute

 

The Cruising Chute13th

Bridget  cruising chute weather and I slept today!!!

Jed  got a fish!! Cruising chute up. Making Christmas decorations

 George  Great day composing of very hot weather and slow progress. Almost no swell so perfect for present making! Caught a dorado late afternoon but mum had already prepared supper so we had dorado and homity pies!

 

14th

 George  Another day of pretty much the same. We’re never going to make the Caribbean by Christmas (average speed today probably 3 knots), but if it stays as good as this I don’t care. Caught a barracuda type trev today (king fish)

 Jack  Evening time and absolutely no wing making 0.5 knots through the water and the rolling is driving us crazy. Probably going to motor through the night to get some miles on the clock.Yes...It's a Christmas Tree

 Bridget  Hot weather . Awning up. Christmas presies in the making! Christmas tree up.

 Grum  Hot damn hot! Wind scoops and awning weather. No wind. Not even ½ way across so perky perkins on and a spell of motoring. We’re a long way from anywhere now. Nothing out there, all the way to the horizon and beyond. Haven’t seen another boat, person ,or any sign of civilisation in 10 days. Listened to a bit of bbc world service this evening, and there was some news of something……

 

15th

Egrets 1000 miles outGeorge  Most of the day was great but during the evening we got some wind, so now we’re moving (that’s good) but we have swell again (that’s bad)

Grum  just glorious bobbing around on a calm deep blue ocean, in the hot sunshine with a cooling breeze…. Only problem is it would take months to get anywhere. ½ way today. We’re getting picky now. We put back the first 2 dorado caught today and waited until we had the perfect supper sized fish!

 

A King Fish ?16th

George  uh  bad case of sickness in the morning but nice motion now and averaging 7 knots

Grum  This is trade wind sailing I guess. Force 4 from the north; beam reaching at 6.5 knots pretty calm sea, just big atlantic swell. Sun. making steady progress

 

17th

George  no fish today! Hooked a dorado but didn’t land it. Most of the day spent making presents when not on watch.

Grum  George is becoming head chef. No fish No problem! Delicious curry dahl and rice for supper. Can bridge and grum stay awake at night? Warm gentle motion, little in the way of sail changing, 3am =sleep

Jed  still going on the home stretch now. Very very very very very very very HOT

Bridget So tired. Yummy food. Awning over helm. Christmas pressies coming on.

 Jed on the Bow Seat

18th

B have gained an extra day- Christmas in a week not 6 days! Still tired, tonight will use my phone to wake me each ¼ hour

George  more pressie making. Marinated dorado for supper

 

Hello Trev!19th

Bridget  Realised that we will be at sea for Christmas so have bought out my box of decorations. Jed excited

George  haha lots of decorations adorning the cabin now! Ginger cake and condensed milk for pudding  hmmmm

 

20th

Bridget   never feel well in the morning  and we’ve run out of hot ribena. Grums big day—net controller apprentice! The net master snoop salty sea doggy dog!

George  haven’t had a fish for ages. Its definitely fishing as opposed to catching at the moment

 

Playing with Poles21st

George  Almost there… well … 4 days…making good speed with mizzen, jib and cruising chute. Very hot.

Bridget  boys don’t like changing sails. Chute to left, chute to right. Pole to left, pole to right. Washing done. Water ok so far. Have turned off pressure and only use hand pumpand refill 50 litre tank to use. No fish. Whats for Christmas dinner?

 Grum  My cockpit is full of pants and knickers. I am now “dj snoop salty sea doggy dog net controller”

 

22nd

George  Woop Woop  fat dorado today, 120cm long. Enough for 3 meals so we stashed some in the ice box for Christmas.Big Big Big Fish

J+J keeping watchGrum  Big fish Big miles= 150+ again today. And Christopher cruising chute is paying dividends . plenty of calculations today- can we arrive by Christmas day?!

 

23rd

George  uneventful day. Cruising chute got tangled but we sorted it out. Had a panic about genny but it seems to be ok now.  I’ll be glad to get in cos I’m mullered.

Grum  tired crew tired skipper but we have got georges cooking to look forward to! Heading straight for Tobago at 7+ knots

 

24th

 

George  it’s the night before Christmas and all through the boat …not a sight nor sound not even a goat.  Almost there. Dry, immovable land is an odd concept.

Jed  happy Christmas eve……. Almost in Tobago. Are you hanging up your stockings on the wall, have you put the lee cloth up so you don’t fall….!

Jack   Xmas tomorrow, yay! Woopee! Last full day at sea as well!  Tobago tomorrow

Land Ahoy!!Bridget  Lots of calculations as to what time we may be in. still cant let up on the speed , really pushing to keep the miles clocking up or it will be after dark tomorrow and another night watch!  Sun going down now, by tomorrow hopefully eating Christmas dinner and opening pressies on Tobago.

 

25th

George     TOBAGO'S IN SIGHT -We wish you a merry Christmas

 Bridget  soon be in. A little nerve wracking

Jack  I saw Tobago first!  WOOPEEEEEE!   Merry Christmas

Jed  wahoow just crossed the atlantic wahoow. Merry christmas

Grum  the end of a long, tough trip_just the last few hours then its over. Wow. I don’t like the look of those big black clouds!!!

 

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                                                      Made It