A busy day at sea...

Yesterday (the 4th Apri) was a frustrating day in some ways. Despite two fishing lines being deployed each day, and perfect trolling speeds of 5-7 knts being sailed, there was not a single nibble, let alone strike, by any fish at all. So despondent was Justin that he decided to construct two home made lures (recommended by Steve who installed the new refrigeration unit back in Gosport. It was the same Steve who recommended using Liddl's W5 clothes stain remover to clean the teak decking and based on the results of his first recommendation we thought his second might be worth a try).

We have been plagued with collapsing cutlery since a brightly coloured set was bought last year before our Round Britain voyage. So, a broken spoon and fork were dug out of he recesses of he cutlery drawer, drilled, had a hook fed through and then wired in place (see photo)These were attached to the lines replacing he expensive lures bought in Jolly Harbour back in January. These were deployed for several hours until Justin decided to swap them back for new lures, one being a Boone blue and white squid like affair. Just as I was about to serve a lentil shepherds pie (shepherdless pie...) there were two simultaneous strikes on the lines. One fish got away but the other line had a good sized tuna on the end, so we reduced sail, hauled it in and dispatched it with a slug of whiskey down the gills (see photo). General celebration at the breaking of the fish drought ensued and the fillets we stored for supper on the 5th.

While is was going on we had noticed a brown booby circling us with intent. We soon noticed that it was trailing a length of blue twine, probably fishing net (see photo). At first we thought it was interested in the fish but then realised that it was looking for a roost for the night. After many attempts at making an approach past the whirring razor sharp blades of he wind turbine we gave some assistance by stalling the turbine and it made a successful landing on the dingy which is hauled up high at the stern.

During the night a light was spotted ahead and after tracking it on radar and gaining on it, dawn broke to reveal a mast and sail just a mile off he port bow. At six am Paul gave a call on VHF channel 16 but got no reply. At 8 am, Acapella called us and I had a good chat exchanging details of route, crew and boat details. They gave us the frequency and timing of a radio net called Pacific Puddle Jump (with which Paul had already registered back in The Galapagos I think) then we left them in our wake as we were flying three sails to their one.

Something that has been puzzling us since we picked up Tin Tin from Arzal is an apparent error in the boat speed readings. Pauls friend George suggested trying the old/original method of measuring a boats speed through the water... Throwing a log over the side with a line attached and counting the knots that went past in a set time period. I set too and filled a 5 litre water bottle a 1/3rd full, attached and flaked out 35m of line (see photo) and with the help of two time keepers recorded the time it took for the bottle to pull out the line. After sufficient data was collected and collated it seems that our suspect instrument is not telling lies after all!

Then Emily who was reading on the foredeck spotted a raft go by and we instituted out Man Overboard drill and got the boat turned round and back to the raft within 10 mins. It seems that it must be an oceanographic raft with sensors for drift , temperature etc.

Then at 0100 GMT we tuned our SSB long range radio to the Puddle Jump frequency and listened in as about 12 boats each answered the roll call giving details of their position, course, speed and wind direction and speed. Acapella mentioned seeing us in the morning and we then called in and gave our details. There are two scheduled times per day and we intend to be regular contributors.

Oh! One more snippet of information... Paul and I clocked up our first Ten Thousand miles on the Tin Tin Round The World voyage.


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