Day 23 Back in the groove today after a couple of days in the 2 on 2 off, feeling good and the boat is gathering speed as the wind comes around behind us at last. Chilly night last night but the past couple of days have been roasting. Good news is the laptop is back in action after Matt and Pedro took out the faulty part and rewired the mains on to the circuit board. Now we just need to be super careful with it. Great morale to have it back but no fishing today. We have decided to reward ourselves with fishing only after we make 75 miles or more in a day. We also had our fish stocks depleted as a pod of bottle nosed dolphins came hunting this morning. It was pretty cool to see them in action as they circle the boat the herd the fish in and then they pick them off, no place for the poor Derado to go.
Day 22 Great to have the cabin back to myself for sleep last night, even of it was only for 2 hours at a time, it is so much cooler and you can stretch out properly. Also nice to the back rowing and making some miles although with a cross wind we are not making great miles. We should be back close to where we went on sea anchor within about 24 hours and then finally back on track for Barbados.
Day 21 Today was a great day, after what was the worst night on board so far. We got slammed by a big storm during the night, wind were up over Gale Force and probably gust force 9 most of the night with swell in the region of 7-8 meters. James an I got seriously thrown around in the bow cabin and had a god laugh as we would in turn get flung across on to the other , apologizing all the time although the actions were completely out of our control. Funniest of all must have been opening y eyes to look across at James and we both went airborne and levitated above our bunk for about 2 second before slamming back down as the next wave crashed in. It is probably the closest I will ever get to being in a zero gravity environment. But finally after 124 hours (over 5 days) on sea anchor we finally got moving again at 1500, what a relief. We also had a major morale boost as we caught 2 Derado fish. They have been hanging out under the boat and we didn’t think our rubber lure would catch them but with some foil from our rations and a neat whipping I dressed up our lure to make it look nice and tasty. So much so that Matt had the first fish on board after about 60 seconds and I had one hook before I even realized I had the hook in the water, like catching Mackerel back in the camber in Cobh. The Derado are a nice big fish and after I gutted and filleted them we fried them up to give everybody a tasty fresh treat. Surprising they also taste very like Mackerel. Just as morale was boosted we took our eye off the ball and a large wave crashed into the stern cabin shorting out the laptop charger an nearly toasting Mylene. Bit of the kick in the teeth but we were so glad to be moving again we didn’t let it get us down. After a couple of hours drifting down wind and sorting out the boat, bailing the hatches and resorting the food rations we got back into rowing at 8pm and it was back to the 2 on 2 off grind, at last!
Still on Sea anchor as of Sunday Lunch time but it looks like we only have another 24 hours to go before we finally get the wind shift we badly need. Funny thing a about the past few days is that the boat is pointing in exactly the right direction, this is due to the fact that when a boat is on anchor it will always point directly into the wind. It has been pretty boring on board so not much to report. We have had some equipment issues since we went on sea anchor, some of them have been sorted but we are still waiting to get a couple of them fixed. First up the water maker is tripping the switch when we run it on 2 pumps, we don’t know why just yet and will have to wait until Monday to talk to the electrician. Hopefully he will have an answer for us, it is not a major issue it just means it takes longer to make water on just one pump. Second problem is that after a couple of days going backwards on sea anchor the cable connecting the steering snapped. Thankfully we have a spare but it is very early in the trip to lose our primary cable. Third problem is that our satellite data connection has been down for the past few days. We can still make voice calls but it seems there is a problem with the server receiving the messages from the satellite in America. Hopefully this will also be sorted once they get back to work on Monday. In other news we have a few fish living under the boat, the first guy to arrive was a blue and black stripped guy that we have named Barry, we think he might have some friends bit we only ever see one of them at a time. Yesterday we had some more visiting fish, one of them looked like a 2 foot long tiger shark. He was pretty menacing and was circling the boat for quite a while. No sign of him today though. We are all looking forward to getting back on the oars tomorrow, only 1 more sleep!
As of this evening, Friday, we are still on sea Anchor. It has been a long couple of days sitting around hoping for the wind to change. Thursday was particularly rough with gale force winds, we got throw around a lot in the cabins and with the hatches closed it gets pretty stuffy very quickly. Wednesday night we set up a watch system which involved us hot bunking so when you woke somebody to go on shift you took their bunk, this was because we only had 5 bunks in operation for the 6 of us. This resulted in both James and I having to depart the sanctuary of the bow cabin to sleep in the stern cabin. It is very wet, hot and smelly in there, as somebody keeps farting. I’m not pointing any fingers but let’s just say it isn’t any of the lads. Today Friday has been relatively calm compared to yesterday with some squalls pushing through as the cold front of the depression passes over. The winds have been up and down but we have been able to spend most of the day on deck getting some sun. We also did some more admin getting kit dried out and moving the life raft out on deck to free up the sixth bunk. Now everybody will have a proper bed for the night. According to Stokey we might have these southerly winds until Tuesday which will mean a full week on Sea anchor, Disaster! But hopefully over the next 12-24 hours as the low pressure system moves south east we will get northerly winds and will finally be able to get moving again. The one thing that has become very apparent over the past 50 something hours is that we are now on an expedition, for a while there it seemed like a holiday as we racked up the miles. Now after being pinned down for a few days and having our resolve and our patience tested I am really beginning to fell like this is a pretty big undertaking. We will relish every mile we row for here on and take nothing for granted and hopefully the weather and mighty Atlantic will grant us a safe and swift passage to Barbados to be reunited with our loved ones.