can we help
+44(0)1983 296060
+1 757-788-8872
tell me moreJoin a rally


Walkabout - And still no fish!

N12:42.2 W71:50.0

Blog Day 4 - 22nd February 2023

The sargasso weed hasn’t helped with two fishing lines trailing behind Walkabout, one hand reel and one rod, the sargasso snags the lure and no fish will bite with the weed dangling off the end so the lines are brought in, sargasso removed and let out again.

Friends tell us there is little sargasso in the pacific so we’ll definitely be counting on a few fish dinners soon!

We had a visit from a flying fish in the cockpit earlier this evening, I hadn’t realised how delicate and fragile looking flying fish are, at least this one was. We managed to pick her up and set her free back in to the sea. I’ll add a photograph on this blog once we are in port so you can see how vivid in colour and shape they are. This one has two sets of wings and was an oily blue/grey colour, quite distinct and so we called her Princess Bluey!

We also saw the crescent moon on the horizon just before it went down and out of sight. Is that called a waning moon? What do we do without Google!!

It’s currently 0512 on Wednesday morning, Tom and I have just changed shifts, a 5 minute hand-over in the red-glow of the cockpit and he’s off for a well earned sleep!

We can see the glow over the horizon of Aruba to our port side which is very exciting!!
Looking forward to that ‘Land a’hoy’ moment which won’t be long!

We work a three hour rota overnight from 2000 to 0800 starting with Andrew, then Tom then me.
At 0800 we move to four hour shifts during the daylight hours. This allows us all some free time to ourselves to shower, read, listen to music, prepare meals or time to catch up on sleep.

During our shifts we have eyes-on, meaning we are up in the cockpit, keeping an eye on the boat, her sails, the wind, chart plotter, Sheila our Hydrovane and other boats.
It makes me smile that during a night shift I’m in three layers including a wind and waterproof jacket, leggings, deck shoes with socks (and life jacket plus harness too of course!) and a blanket as back-up, Tom is bare foot, shorts and a long sleeve light weight top!
Youth huh or more probably age! ;)

To be honest it isn’t cold! It’s a little breezy as the wind is from behind us and reasonably strong and cool overnight but nothing like UK! During the day we are all in shorts and singlet or T-shirt with the person on watch wearing his or her life-jacket.

The last three hours has been steady, wind maxing at 20 knots and the Hydrovane is steering us a great course to Santa Marta.

We can see three other boats on the chart plotter, Into The Mystic ahead of us with Justina and Solis a few miles behind.
Both are on the ARC Pacific Rally and we have had VHF calls with them and various other boats over the last few days.
It’s great to keep in touch while sailing on a multi day passage, just to say hello and ask how everyone is. It’s a feeling of being connected that is so important.

It’s really comforting knowing you can see other boats around you but that isn’t always the case.

We’ve also seen quite a few tankers along the way. They are all pretty friendly when you call them up to confirm they have seen you and to let them know there are more sailing vessels along their path to look out for. One or two have happily altered course on request to ensure there is a few miles between them and us. Well done Derek on Mary Doll who spoke with one tanker who happily altered course for them.

We also have the SSB Net each day at 0900 and again at 1800. There are four Net Controllers including Tom on Walkabout. The morning call is about positions, where we all are and how things are onboard, any issues people would like to bring up like engine failure on one boat or lack of Sat-phone communications on another. It’s a fantastic forum to ask for advice and all the boats are very willing to give it. One boat has had very bad sea-sickness which as you can imagine can be debilitating!
We have all been pretty good on that front. Tom and I have taken Stugeron for the first few days to ensure we can be downstairs in the cabin cooking or listening in on the SSB Net.

There are many wonderful things about a night shift at sea, one of them is having time to yourself, to be on your own, having time to think and remember.

Many of you may know that my beautiful, funny, loving, huge hearted and chatterbox sister passed away earlier this month. With the build-up and preparations ahead of our Pacific Crossing, there wasn’t time to take it all in, to reflect and remember Sharon, to say my goodbyes.
Now I have that time, and I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than right here, surrounded by this vast seascape of an ocean, the crystal clarity of the stars above, the sun on her way up as the horizon becomes visible and Sharon in my heart, always and forever.
Rest in peace my beautiful sister, no longer in pain, breath easy, your Grompus, always xxx

Previous | Next