Leg 2. started from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands at 10pm on Wednesday 18th September. With the boat fully provisioned, fuelled up and everyone aboard we left the dock. It was a stunning evening, the moon was bright, the wind was crisp and the anticipation was over. The trip had begun.
We sailed down pass Furterventura for the night and the next morning at the beginning of my watch the Island was a silhouette in the morning sun behind us. The winds were light and straight from behind so to continue an easy start we stayed goose winged for the day.
Morgan decided to put out the fishing lines as the conditions were perfect for it. Of cause just before lunch the reel sang and everyone jumped into action. The sails were rolled in and the fight started. Immediately Morgan could feel that our catch was a biggy. 45 minutes later we clearly saw the beauty of the Marlin at the end of the line. Obviously excited by this monster but also disappointed as the shear size of it meant that we wouldn’t be able to get it aboard even if we wanted to. Our well stocked freezer would have had to have been full with just this one fish. Luckily just as we got him close and with every intention of setting him free he broke the line and dove to the depths.
Our second night at sea was marked with Septembers full moon which is always a welcoming sight. The winds continued to be light which in turned made our progress slow but comfortable. With just the 4 of us on board it was nice that the sea gods were being kind and patient with us.
Night four we were literally sailing down the coast of Africa. At our closest we were 14 miles of the coast. Unfortunately the increase in haze meant that land was out of sight. However as the night fell the ocean lit up with fishing boats and we were running through what felt like a mind field of activity and lights.
Night six saw the start of the Doldrums. The sails came down and the engine went on. It felt like suddenly we were in a sauna. The heat was really quite intense. The first day the sea was like glass with not a breath of wind. We took advantage of the calmness and put the fishing lines out. We didn’t have to wait long before we caught another beauty, a 35kg sail fish. To get him on board wasn’t the easiest of task with the high free board, but we weren’t letting him go. By lunch fresh sashimi was served. The heat was absolutely stifling that day. In need of a cool down we decided to switch of the engine and take a dip in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. As refreshing as it was, the water was warm, 30.7 degrees to be exact. Like a bath tub. Later that day we passed two whales, they seemed oblivious to our presence, so we assumed with their actions they mating.
We motored through the Doldrums for three days and in this time managed to catch an additional 2 wahoo’s. So there was plenty of delicious fish aboard. The fridge stocks might have been dwindling but the freezer was getting fuller. With the hot windless days came the over cast and cloudy nights and a closer watchful eye on the radar for rain squalls. We were lucky to only have one squall. There wasn’t an overly great deal of wind, but the force in which the driving rain hit us was impressive. It was a good reminder of what mother nature can deliver.
On Que. with the weather forecast we picked up the southerly trade winds on night nine. Just like that the temperatures became bearable again the night skies cleared and the stars twinkled. We were sailing again clocking back in the miles and making up for lost time.
Its a strange feeling to be at sea.
To be surrounded by nothing else but hundreds of miles of Ocean.
To look out at the horizon and see nothing for days.
To look up at the night sky and be made to feel so small in the darkness.
To be pushed along by the force of the wind and the waves.
To feel free…..if only for that moment.
We passed the Equator from North to South at 01:26am on Sunday 29th September our 11th night at sea. Due to the hour we had a quiet and pleasant celebration. Everyone was up and as we crossed from North to South we clinked our Whiskey glasses and toasted to the South and to Louise.
On Monday 30th September our 12 day of the crossing Fernando de Noronha was spotted from just over 30 miles away. Its always a good feeling to see land after days at sea. We dropped anchor in the crystal clear water at noon.