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Day 9 – Gear up for the sail of your life!

By Sharon Ferris-Choat

Flying fish, temperature/barometer dropping, wind and waves building, rain in the clouds. We have been waiting for this weather for a week now and because we have sailed well, we are going to get less of these rough days than first expected.

Everyone has done everything they can do to prepare for our next rollercoaster ride. Water topped up by Heather, engine and generator checks by Ami. Hadley, Molly, Sarah and Heather moved the heavy sails out of the bow locker and stored aft to lift the bow. Food prepared by Sarah and Molly, Henriette and Lungi are gearing up for the ride of their lives and I am constantly monitoring the weather and and checking updates with reality.

We have the Lee of Flores Islands that is only 341nm away – we could use it as a refuge if needed.

Everyone is ready and wanting to get the speed record for this leg! That’s set at 14.4 kn at the moment, so that will be the first target.

On a completely funny note 2 nights ago, I was driving with Henriette behind me and something whacked me in the butt. I was about to say “hey what’s that for” when I realized that the whacky thing was now dancing at my feet! Immediately I was out of the steering well and steering from the side, moving so fast that I shocked Henriette, she’s asking “what’s wrong“?, I reply that “I was hit by a fish and it’s at my feet!“. Her instant reply was in Danish “Nej you are stupid Sharon“, so I said take a look and you will see! She looked and was laughing so hard that she couldn’t move, as I was the one who wanted to catch a fish and now I was running from it! She was about to learn that flying fish are smelly and slippery little guys that flop for a long time! I said to her to get a rag and get Molly. I thought that Molly would help but she was in a vital part of birthday cake making so it was up to Henriette to save Flopsy! And of course rag laughing Henriette giggled more when her new friend slimed out of her grip and went under the floor board! Now I was the one laughing as she now needs tools etc to save Flopsy. She went off to get them, and I disappeared to the other side of the boat to drive, stinking of flying fish.

Flopsy was saved after a few more flops and a splash back into the ocean, and a well cleaned steering well. We are still laughing about it today and Henriette has asked that Flopsy 2 stays in the ocean!

This update is delayed as we have just had our first rain squall go through with an increase in wind, so we have changed our J3 to staysail as night is settling in, funny as our boat time is only 1600 and it’s getting dark, we must be making progress East! 455nm to Horta!