Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On our sailing way to Marquesas.

We started lifting the anchor during the morning, but soon realized that the big tourist boat in front of us, was laying over our anchor. We got too close to the big boat, and called out to someone on it to move it slightly out of the way. Their Skipper was not on the boat and the only help we got was from a crew member pushing the boat with their dinghy sideways. After a couple of close encounters, we freed our anchor and were on our way. I had a good feeling that this trip was going to be a better one!

With a lovely wind on the beam, for a change and a current pushing us, we did a beautiful 174nm for our first day! Our spirits were high, and not even the ice cold wind at night could dampen it. The days were sunny, but still the cold wind prevailed. We saw two whales playing in the distance and some Pacific spotted dolphins enjoying the surf. Soon we caught a skip jack tuna. It must be this cold water!

We were not prepared for the cold nights, and everyone was huddling together for some warmth. It is unbelievable that we can be on the Equator and it is so cold!
Our fifth day at sea, we saw a fishing boat on the horizon, and by now the sea life also died down. We hardly see any birds, only the odd swallow with a dash of white on its tail, and every now and then some flying fish. Even the phosphor in the waves at night disappear, while the thick fog envelopes Andando every night. We wipe her down in the mornings with the fresh water from the fog, trying to get rid of the white salty crystals covering her. With the swells slightly smaller and the wind down @ 4 to 6 knots we decided to start cleaning all the stainless steel. We rubbed it with our vinegar cloths and brushes and soon all the stanchions were rust free!

Soon we realized that the closer we sail to the Equator the stronger the current. It ranges from 2 to 3 knots! In the light wind Andando needed a motor running most of the time @ 1200 rpm to reach our planned average of 5.8 knots per hour for the trip, with her screecher sail out. Johan also took out the storm jib, and they fixed it onto the boom, creating even more wind onto the screecher. Now I just need to hang out Marco`s boxers and we will be surfing.

It was our Skipper`s born day, 12th of November 18, 2011! What a challenge to make a day special for someone in the middle of the Big Blue. I baked a cappuccino cake the previous day, and icing the cake with milo and icing sugar, (no cocoa aboard) and one of Marco`s 11 year old candles, and four left over silver balloons. We woke him with our deep voices, and a poem from mom, a letter from Joe, and some secret message from Marco. I succeeded in hiding a Toblerone from the boys, and being without chocolates and sweeties for two weeks now, it was a big present!

 I think his biggest gift was when our satellite phone rang for the first time ever, and his sister, Elize wished him a happy birthday from London!

Ps. Jaco our son left South-Africa to work in Palm Beach, Florida, and I missed packing something special into his bags. Good Luck Jaco, see you soon !!!

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