Since we have four people on board now, during our night shifts on passage Karen and I both go to bed not long after dinner. Karen has the second night watch, and I have the fourth. On May 1, I had just fallen into a sound sleep, with a nice gentle breeze blowing through the hatch over our bed. Karen was reading a book next to me. Suddenly something bounced on my lap and woke me up, and Karen made a sound of startlement. I looked down and saw a live flying fish on my lap on top of the sheet! It was bouncing around wondering where the heck it was. I managed to grab it and attempted to throw it out the hatch, but it hit the edge and landed in bed again. Laughing, I got it out on the second attempt. Karen went out front, and found it on the trampoline (still alive) and threw it into the sea this time.
Karen and I were both laughing about that unique experience. In all our years of sailing, we had never had a fish fly through the hatch! We have never heard of it happening to anyone else either. And, this was a big one! We laughed more when we imagined what the fish must have thought about the experience.
Jason and I speculated it must have thought it was abducted by aliens. One minute the fish is flying along over sea. And the next he was inside what could only have seemed like a space ship. Weird lights, a lab table with a sheet on top, scientists ready to perform an experiment!
The winds have been really light the last couple of days, and we have been struggling to sail at a decent speed of 6 knots or more. We motored for 18 hours on Saturday. We had a decent sail near 8 knots most of Sunday afternoon and evening, but then it clocked around to the east forcing us into a downwind sail. To compound matters the winds dropped and we struggled to make 6 knots much of the night. We may attempt the spinnaker again during the day Monday.
We reached the half-way point sometime during the night. We only have 1500 more miles to go! If the wind would pick back up, we might make it in less than 8 days. But, at the current speed (under 6 knots), its saying 10-11 days (which would be May 13 or 14). That’s 4 days later than we had hoped for, and all due to the light winds we’ve been experiencing. The winds have been 10 or so knots slower than average for this time of year along here. This is due in large part to a major storm that crossed hundreds of miles south of us which forced a large high pressure system into the equatorial region.
Yesterday we used the satellite system we have on board to download some more detailed long-range forecasts on the weather. It’s amazing we could download detailed weather imagery in less time than it takes to get a connection on the HF radio! It’s too bad the satellite download costs are so high, or we would use it all the time. We believe we’ll pick up a bit more wind over the next couple of days. Later in the week the winds should pick up enough for us to make some more 200 mile days (Tahina’s normal sailing speed).