Posted by: asolare | 04/12/2009

Asolare Ship’s Log 13 – Thu 03 Dec 09 – Tuna Strike

166 nm covered in 24hours. Average speed 6.91 Knots
Position at 1200 UTC 4 Dec 09 was 16.07N 49.53W

On the 2007 ARC crossing my one and only sip of red wine was immediately followed by the BANG of a halyard as it broke and dropped our Parasailor into the sea. Déjà vu last night when a big BANG sent ASOLARE crew flying on deck – and found me, this time, carefully stowing red wine glasses in the sink before following!

Not a sail break, but an almighty great fish that had sent rod, line and steel holder crashing to the deck. The beast could be seen thrashing away 50+ metres off the stern – clearly big and equally clearly not very happy! An overnight battle ensued but sadly we have to report that in the end all was lost. The fish and the lure gone and a rod left in pretty poor shape and sadly in need of repair. ASOLARE continues under one rod.

Earlier during the afternoon, and after 12hrs of the on watch crew working hard, we finally caught up and crossed with NIKKA. It was good to have a chat on VHF and swap rotting veg stories! Overnight their proximity proved very helpful in providing local weather experiences to Sallyanne and Steve, tasked with squall dodging to keep the, 18 knot maximum, Genneker safe.

The Gennaker has been fantastic in the light airs of the last 24 hrs, however today the forecast is for stronger wind, so our “Day-off” ghosting along (actually at a quite respectable 7+ knots) under the No 2 will come to an end and we will redeploy the now repaired Parasailor. Nothing that 8 rolls of spinnaker tape and several hours of diligent sticking by the Asolare crew couldn’t fix.

We now have less than 700 miles to run into St Lucia, and it is interesting to see, as Asolare continues to operate on GMT, how the pattern of our days has changed. “Day” starts much later than it did when we left Las Palmas, the off-watch crew emerge with the light sometime around 1000 and by 1100 it is HOT. 1200 and the distinctive sound of the SSB pervades the boat. Sallyanne and Peter are Radio Net Controllers so we listen throughout. There are always jobs to do on board, so before you know it early evening and food has hit high priority. Then, without a shadow of a doubt, the best bit of Atlantic sailing, the night, the sun sets about 2030, the off watch crew retire to sleep ahead their watches, and the boat is yours! Whatever the sea state or the wind conditions – it is cool, quiet and in the full moon of the last week, an absolutely amazing and special place to be.

Only one further incident to report – that of “Puff” last seen taking a night-time stroll on deck as stuffed dragons are want to do. Sadly Puff appears to have been kidnapped and a ransom note has been delivered. Sense and decorum remain in good order on Asolare today!

By Clare (and Crew Peter, Sallyanne, Stephen and Mark)


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