20 days, 20 hours… at sea!

Galapagos – Marquises

This blog is a few thoughts from my sail across one of the world’s most isolated stretches of ocean, the Pacific from Galapogos to Marquises. It took ‘Fruit Salid 3’ 20 days and 20 hours to sail the 3000nm to the mountainous land fall at the other side. 

A typical 24 hours onboard consists of 1 cook, 1 cleaner and 2 sailors who sail during the day time. At night everyone has a 2 hour shift. This system is great as every day is different. Plus everyone takes their cooking day very seriously, ie yummy food!

Just to note: on Salid we actually HELM on our shifts. This is extremely unusual, all sailors use autopilot… I only found this out after the crossing!

20.05.17 – 10.06.17

20.05.17: set off from Galapagos at 8pm.

Day 1: 21.05.17: Good wind. 10 knots. Supposed to be 15- 20 knots wind, 77% of the time. Therefore it should take 16 days according to the wind mapper app… We think 20-25 days. Mark cooked beef and Oyster source stir fry. 

Relaxing with flat seas

If you’re not on shift, you’re in bed by 1900, early nights at sea! I had an amazing starry sky – I turned the navigation lights off and got the binoculars out. Best sky yet. White birds twirling. 

Day 2: 22.05.17: Good wind again. Sunny. Very sleepy day. Squid on board. I cooked bacon pesto pasta with mozzarella and fresh basil. Wind picking up. Windy night shift. Speed around 7 knots.

Day 3: 23.05.17: Good wind. Small black sea birds. Beef Pad Thai. Amazing night sky again. Tried malted milk, good with ginger nut. Talked about dark thoughts and audio book as a coping mechanism.

Day 4: 24.05.17: Great sailing day. Around 5-6 knots. Pork egg and chips. Small black birds still with us. Keep my eyes pealed for sea life, NOTHING. 

Day 5: 25.05.17: No white birds. Lots of flying fish this morning. One bird – black top, white underneath. Mashed potato, steak and onion gravy. 

Bread baking!

Actually started being productive with my days. Started logbook and mapping route. Windy night shift. First crash gybe of the trip, not too bad. Dark. No stars. 

26.05.17: I had the sunrise shift, 0500 -0700. It’s a beauty. 
Yummmy
Pizza for dinner!

Still not feeling 100% sea legs yet. Poled out the heady as the wind has changed direction. Had our first squall, first bit of minor excitement on the trip! It’s been pretty plain sailing for the first 6 days, touch wood. 

Day 7: 27.05.17: An eventful day! 6 flocks of birds. We are 1200 miles from the nearest land – Galapagos. Therefore they must be sea birds. Two came away from the pack and twirled around the mast squawking. We haven’t heard anything but water, sails flapping and Salid creaking for 7 days. It was a real treat for the ears to hear chirping. Black and grey with white patches, agile, swooping into the water. 

Lots of flying fish as usual. 

We put out the fishing rod and within 15 minutes it wurrred into action. Little Mickey the Mahi Mahi took no time to get in, he was so weeny compared to his big bro Martin. 

Waves= 2-3 meter 

wind speed = 10-15 knots

Boat speed = 6-8 knots

Wind direction = East, southeast 

Course to steer = 160 degrees

Average mileage = 180nm/day

Listening to Elton John

Silent but violent (Ally has the most disgusting smells from his bottom)

Mark admiring the sails… and the sunset.

Thinking about memories. Should they be memories or can you make them a reality, the present. For instance food eaten when I was younger. At Granddads I have such strong menories of eating stew which had such a delicious flavour that I haven’t tasted since. A vegetabley carrot soaking flavour. Then at Grandma’s – Lemon Meringue Pie. They say memories of taste and smell from childhood stay with you. 
Fish Laksa for dinner.

Day 8: 28.05.17: woken to spinnaker thrashing in the wind. Ronda red pants flown all day. Took a while to get used to helming with a symmetrical Spinnaker but I’ve cracked it.

At 1840 a 10+ pod of pilot whales came and swam with Fruit Salid. They had a torpedo (penis) shaped head and played in the waves and around the bow. The first sea life we’ve seen. I was on the toilet and had to cut my wee short as I was getting shouted on deck. I ran up the stairs and was greeted by a whale 2m from the stern coming towards us surfing a wave. 

Attempted shower on the back of the boat but the squall never came, typical. Chilli con carne for dinner. 

Cloudy evening, squalls threatening. Misty rain – felt like a pirate ship could pop up on the horizon at any moment. Then 2 birds squawked overhead – I could hear them, but not see them. Wouldn’t be surprised if they were parrots from the ship.  
As the crow flies, from Gran Canaria to this point right now (nearly half way across the Pacific)  I have sailed 98° around the globe! I.e. quarter circumnavigation. 

Day 9: 29.05.17: After motoring through the night with no wind at all I was blessed with an incredible sun rise. I would say the best I’ve seen.
Had a cup of tea to accompany. 
So many different elements to the rise. From blues and yellows, to pinks and oranges and back to blue and yellow then blue and white. With all the colours in between. Then it rose. 

Pork sweet and sour 

Day 10 : 30.05.17: Half way! Really relaxed day. Motored and watched pretty woman. Ate lots of snacks. Beef curry for dinner. Started reading the about the Third Reich.

Day 11: 31.05.17: Big day of sailing. Chorizo rice. 

Day 12: 01.06.17: 2 HUGE flying fish lept out the ocean and smacked Salid one after the other! Thank God it wasn’t aimed at my head, the force could have knocked me out! Usually flying fish are as big as your hand. These two were as big as your arm! 

Caught Johnathan The Wahoo at 1845. Easy to bring in. Huge. Lots of meat! Had chickpea curry for dinner. 

Day 13: 02.06.17: fish fajitas. Very tired night shifts. Realised it’s lots of helming! 

Day 14: 03.06.17: I’m cook – fish pindasaus. 826nm to go, should take around 6 days.

Crew chillin’

Day 15: 04.06.17: First salty shower of the trip… 15 days dirty! Watched James Bond, Golden Eye. Fish Tom Yum soup. Great night shift, moon really bright and shining the way.

Day 16: 05.06.17: Light conditions. Flappy sails. Tom Yum soup again. Moon big and bright again. 

Day 17: 06.06.17: Watching the sun set after yummy fish pie. 

Day 18: 07.06.17: amazing shift from 0500-0700. Saw the moon go down in the west. Big and yellow. Stars shining on dark navy sky. Then moments later the sun rose in the east. Grateful to be able to witness. 

Started a new painting, very very calm waters. Followed by a dip in the ocean. 
Corned Beef Hash for dinner, my fav.

Day 19: 08.06.17: Big black squall night shift. Fish Thai Green Curry for dinner. 
Something about night shifts that allows you to think and discuss anything. 

Tonight I thought about the future. How I feel mentality changed to my youthful self. I remember being on a bikeride with Jess in China 5 years ago and feeling like I could do anything. Then when I got my first job for some reason you feel like that defines where you can go and what you can do. Maybe that is reality but I would like to get back to feeling that the world is my oyster.

Full moon. 

Day 20: 09.06.17: Final day at sea. 120nm to go. I’ve still got so much to do! 

Weather always changing… Quickly reduce the sail for the squall
10.06.17: Woke up for my 0700-0900 shift… first things first, a cup of tea! Strong atmospheric weather. It seems very wild this morning. We’re surrounded by squalls. The wind is swirling around my ears, 15 knots, and the waves are black and choppy. Then in the distance through the mist we spotted it…. Mohotani.
0915 (Galapagos time) Land glorious land!!! 
Celebrating with a warm beer. 20 days, 20 hours. 
1400: WOW. Wild wild wild. Mountainous.
Aaaaaaaaaa, reeeelaxxxxx. Pigeon

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