Monday, March 26, 2012

Caribbean passage

Our departure from Shelter Bay led straight into some heavy and confused seas with a consistent 20 knots of wind. Waves generated by a low off Venezuela, combined with a counter current off the Panamanian coast, resulted in mucho chop. Through the first night the seas stayed around 8 feet and sleep was of the partly airborne variety. Our new crew were wondering what they had let themselves in for but in retrospect it gave them their sea legs and the experience to appreciate the lessening seas to come. It was pointed out to me that the combined ages of these two added up to 150! As we made our way North, the wind relented and during the second night we were down to 12 knots with subsiding seas. We are now into Day 5 and the Caribbean is all gentle swell. We have been around 150 miles offshore and there has only been commercial traffic. As we closed in on the channel off Rosalind Bank, we picked up a welcome boost from the Northbound current; our speed increased from 6.5 knots to over 10 at one point. With the smooth seas on board routine has settled down well; the watch bill is light with 5 on board. Yesterday we had an enormous strike on our single lure; with full brake the line tore out nearly to spool; Chris was strapped into the light fighting harness when suddenly there one was immense sideways leap out of the water and our fish, almost half a mile behind the boat, was gone. There will be another day. Captain Don has the morning watch and is not fazed by the instruments in front of him in the pilothouse. A graduate of the Pensacola Flying School in 1944, and a member of the Active Reserve after WWII, one day he was given a Handbook to read overnight and the following morning was told to take her up - a Spitfire.

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