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Tohuwabohu - Leg 2 day 13

It appears that I have lost track of days and today should be day 13, I think I repeated the numbers of day 8 and 9, so for clarity today is day 13, the decision to use the engine overnight was a good decision as we averaged 2.4 knots of wind in a Very calm dark night, the moon seemed to take ages to come out last night and it is just over the half moon. When she does arrive she floods light onto the very dark sea and it is comforting to know that this light helps us. The night shifts of 3 hours are good as they give you time to plan , contemplate, replan, make decisions, come equilibrium with those decisions that have not be so good. This time of year for me has always been testing, and no matter what people tell you, the issues you faced in the past will always be riding along side you, apparently getting easier, in some cases with me, maybe not so much. The night shift is a good time. My watch went through 12-3 and Simone went 3-6 and Holger 6-9am. All of these were fairly uneventful. The 6 hours sleep soon passed by and I cam on at 9 am Utc just as the sun was rising . The first hour passed by with out issue , until a small green triangle appeared on the screen denoting another vessel. The time was 10.00 and was sighted as a vessel at N 15,15.78 W 51,25.62 with the name Kinasti. This ship was 138mtrs x 25mtrs x 7.7mtrs draught and was steaming to Ghana. Both Holger nd Simone were still in their cabin and I decided that I would call the vessel who was 14.8 nm SW of us and ask if they had any diesel that we could purchase.
I spoke to the officer of the watch who said that he would wake the master and we could speak directly. I waited by the vhf for a call back from the master who agreed that he would love to help us and would be happy to alter course north east and RV with us in 5nm and they would supply us with 50 litres of diesel.
By his time I had been joined by Holger and Simone and there was an air of excitement on the boat. We altered our course south west and were going head to head with a tanker. In all my training to date and any sailing experience I have ever had , is not to head for a ship! There was time enough for a quick breakfast and coffee prior to our next new adventure which was to take fuel from a tanker. We headed off on our course and a conversation developed about how the transfer would take place. Would it be by rib, tender or a drop. It was agreed that the Kinasti would drop 2 x 25 litre containers over the aft starboard side as we went abeam starboard to starboard. The master of the Kinasti kept course and it was up to Holger to head Tohuwabohu directly towards aft quarter. The Kinasti was steaming to Ghana and was expected to make landfall on the 16/12/20.
The Kinasti came steaming over the horizon and got bigger and bigger and soon enough we were close by that we could see the ships crew stood on the aft deck, they were waving at us and seemed as excited as we were to be doing something different, I spoke with the Master who agreed that as we came beam on to each other the crew would release the canisters into the water. In a flash, it was time , the three green canisters were over the side and hit the water with an Epic splash. The stern of the Kinasti passed by us and we turned towards the barrel to collect them . This was just an epic moment, the plan had worked the crew of the Kinasti were waving and smiling and we could see that they were happy to help us out. The stern of the Kinasti very quickly disappeared towards their new course.
The recovery of the barrel was fairly simple and was conducted like any mob scenario under engine , boat hook used and the lines holding the canisters together was snagged. Pulling the containers close to the stern it was just a question of lifting onto the bathing platform and then into the cockpit. This was conducted effectively, and then it was all done. The moment was somewhat surreal. There were a few fist bumps on board and we were very happy with our achievements.
I suppose today’s achievement are, you can make a plan to achieve your goals you just need to be in the right place at the right time, a little luck can go a long way to help out. No matter how dark it gets the light comes with a new day, anything is possible with a plan, and good communication. Finally, there are good people in the world who want to help, sometimes we the plan doesn’t always work out but we really tried our best (RIPJM)
Just as the day was coming to a close we hooked the mother of all fish, I say this as it was my first time of actually catching a fish in 40 years or so. The experience was interesting having never “pumped and reeled” with feeling, these were my instructions from Holger. Simone stood by with the alcohol which is injected quickly into the fish to dispatch it. It gave a good fight for the 200 metres of line that had been paid out and within 15 minutes the black tough skinned fish (approx 40 cms in length with a big head, photos will be available to those who can identify it) was on board and filleted into two good size chunks.
Following this a quick dip in the ocean was called for, a dunk and a fresh water shower helps as the temperature is 34degrees in the cabin lone. Showered completed it was time to start the engine again having sailed for a few hours as the wind has becalmed again to 2/3 knots. The idea of motor sailing sits ok with us on the boat as we still have 540 nm to go which according to the forecast we should collect some wind in the next few days, it will be nice to get back to sailing, but ultimately we have to get to St Lucia and tomorrow will be two weeks at sea.
Dinner is coming soon, Holger and Simone are having the marinated fish from yesterday (catch what you can eat) and I’m having sos meatballs. Hope our new German what’s app readers are enjoying the boat life tales from us. It’s still the best adventure to date , I do have an idea for what’s next, but that can wait. Have a great evening, good night from Tohuwabohu.

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