Tuesday, 14 January 2014


Making like big game fishermen!

Caught a small 1.5M Sailfish this afternoon. 
Dosnt look very edible. Took a long time to bring him on board.

Nothing much else doing here thought so a relief in the monotony. Today was a beautiful day to be sailing. 10+ KN and fairly flat. Had the MPS up most of the afternoon. Fabulous sunset. Jigsaw about 100 NM closer to the destination having crossed the equator today. Weather looks like becoming a little boisterous in a day or two. Hope not too busy. 

We've seen half a dozen ships in the past 24 hours.
168 NM in past 24 hrs
1455 to Grenada at 2150 UTC
00 59.91S
041 08.38W

Update. the fish was delicious. Beautiful firm, very white meat without any strong fish smell or flavor. Highly Recommended.

We had a slow lazy day yesterday, not playing with spinnaker did 160NM. Last night line squalls marching up on us from behind and dumping lots of rain. Wind quite manageable. Saw it coming an put in a reef and furled head sail. Max gust 27. Now its 12 to 15 on the beam and we have reef and small headsail. Doing high 7s on the rum an coca cola line... but healed over so a bit of a pain! 

We have 1216 to go so tomorrow we should be half way from Fernando de Narohna to Grenada

Today we will be about 200Nm off shore from the mouth of the mighty Amazon! 

Sailfish is pale pink meat and very white when cooked. Tasty and not strong flavor, Was good in green Thai curry last pm, doesn't fall apart. I will vacuum bag some. We didn't stop to pull it in... its too difficult with the pole out. It was about 20kg to get aboard with gaff. Jumped a lot! 

Jigsaw take about 5 to 10 miles off us each day. They left 5 hours before us. They are 110 NM ahead now
01 18N
044 24W 

670 to Grenada at 1100UTC
201NM in past 24hrs
Rough! To rough to wax lyrical

19th January
We were told it was a Tropical Wave. Its a bit like a Mexican wave only wet and not as much fun. They form when a low pressure system forms off the African Coast. During the hurricane season this may be a precursor to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane. During the non hurricane season its just a curse. 

Now we have dirty grey clouds hunched sulkily on the horizon and blue sky above. Periodically malicious gusts come clawing and roaring through the rig sending Taipan into a frenzy of weaving, rolling and diving before shaking and straightening to resume the course. The hunkered big green, sloppy, frothy topped white things also take the opportunity of Taipan's inattention to endeavor to unload a hundred liters of water into the cockpit. These are mostly thwarted by the good clear covers from the bimini and dodger to the deck. However an occasional 20 odd liters sometime makes its way into the cockpit via the inevitable rope holes. 

The cockpit is therefore somewhat salty although until this morning when David dispatched an entire mug of hot tea onto the leeward cushions, we had dry seating on the lee side. Aft of the wheel the mess of ropes looks like a cat got loose in the knitting. There are about 8 lines in from forward on each side....ever ready! 

On our best leg the only consolation was that we managed 217NM in a 24 hr period and came within 35NM of Jigsaw.
In the 24 hrs to 1100UTC today we did 194NM and we have 486Nm to Grenada. 

We sailed into Prickly Bay  on Tuesday the 21st at 7.30 pm. Thats over  6000NM from Cape Town on the log. The last two days were not so bad, we made good miles and were even able to launch the MPS again after using it as a sea anchor for a while. It got a bit out of control during launching and ended up in the water for a while. Interesting time recovering it and a few choice words were exchanged and blame apportioned!. Anyway no damage done and we now know it stops the boat dead in the water when we drag it!!
First impressions are that there are a heck of a lot of people here and we know a few of them. The internet is very 4th world and very first world prices so I won't be posting photos for a while yet. Prices generally are high. The highest prices we have encountered anywhere. Weather is cooler than Asia, about 27 deg but also some rain squalls. Anchorages are very full. There would be about 100 boats here on anchor. Shore facilities seem good.

Silver Fern, good ol' mates from the Sail Indo Rally 2006 and adventures in Asia just crossed the North Atlantic and came from Barbados to meet us here. That has been fun. Contrails, with whom we crossed the Indian Ocean last year, also arrived a couple of days ago and we have had fun catching up with them. Keith Tanner from Sadiqui,  a Perth boat, and who we did the Splash 2002 from Freo to Darwin with, rocked by and we had a beer or two together.

Australia Day plans went all round in circles but we ended up aboard Taipan with two American couples from Harmonie and Contrails and Keith to support the Ausie cause. It was a great day with BBQ lunch then lots of refreshments well into the evening. Another memorable Australia Day on Taipan in another non Australian location.