Madeira to Isla Graciosa – 2nd night

The day started wish some fishing. I wasn’t even through with securing the fishing gear as I heard an odd croaaak coming from the area where the hook was. Oh no, the only seagull in the area tried to eat our fishing lure which we pulled behind us. Now, the seagull is trapped somehow. Immediately we would slow down, turn back and spool in the fishing line, with no tension on the line for the bird. This gives it the time to free itself and we are bloody glad that it was like that.

Later on we catch a tuna kid, just about 35 centimeters long. We release it since we don’t want to kill it for the little flesh we would get. Another two tunas of same length follow, and all of them can go back into the blue. We discussed whether the fish would remember that at the end of the day, and learn something out of being caught. Does anybody know ;-)?

As all of the three tunas were of same length we conclude that our lure was to small. For this reason we change back to the bigger lure which was responsible for the big tuna we caught a week ago. However we wouldn’t catch anything for the rest of the day.

In the afternoon we were chattering over the radio with a solo sailor on his way from La Rochelle (F) to Gran Canaria. He would prepare there for a solo race across Atlantic Ocean to Martinique. He says that 81 single-handed boats are participating and expects to make the crossing within two weeks, on a boat of 6.5 meters length only. His biggest issue was the freeze-dried food which he apparently didn’t like so much. We wished good luck to him for the race.

Before dinner time we decide spontaneously to stop the boat and go swimming. Sea is flat and wind is down. One adult always stays aboard whilst the other three persons try not to get caught by a shark (they eat later, usually). We survive. The strangest thing about swimming out here are the 3000+ meters of water underneath. This is so incredibly deep, with an awful lot of strange animals down there.

Another day dusks and we get ready for the night. All the way from Madeira we have propelled as the winds were mostly not there, which matches with the predictions. As the evening develops, the forecasted light winds appear from starbord and slowly change to port side (from right to left). We set sails and can stop the engine as wind picks up further around 10p.m.. It will become quite a fast but bumpy ride. I reef a bit at 2a.m. to make everyone happier on board.

We do not have a particular watch scheme for the nights. We just agree on each other’s condition. The one who thinks can catch some sleep goes down to his bunk until woken up for a change. We try to let each other sleep for three to four hours in one go, at least. This night’s sleeping will be less because falling asleep is very difficult with so much motion in the boat. The kids luckily went to bed before the rocking started so they can sleep.

The magic of last night is not here today. Why would the water make this glittery shining one night, bit not the next one?

To kill time I download the latest pictures from Ophelia. Ophelia is a violent storm west of us, slowly moving north-east. Within a few days, it should pass in between Azores and Madeira, later entering bay of biscay. We are glad not to be there, because gusts of 85 knots (almost 160 km/h) is definitely not what a brave sea man want to experience out there. We start to feel uncomfy already at 25 to 30 knots of wind. We will however not get around the swell of Ophelia down in the Canaries. The waves carry on for a very far stretch, also if the storm has passes far off.

Anything else for that night? Again, no mermaid appeared ;-).

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