Ascension Island to Ferndando de Norohna (Brazil)……Day 3
June 24th, written the morning of June 25th, 2013 (Western Hemisphere) Time: GMT
Yesterday the winds were fairly strong in the morning and our speed was good so we passed on putting up the spinnaker. It was an uneventful day until around 11 am a ship tripped off our AIS (Automatic Identification System). It was the \”VTR Dragon\”, a 550 foot cargo vessel en route to Rio de Janeiro.
At six miles we were effectively on a collision course and he didn\’t seem to notice us. I hailed him on the radio, he looked at his AIS and radar and said he would take our stern. He passed about a mile behind us and I still think it\’s amazing how low the odds are that two vessels in the middle of nowhere on a right angle course could be that close! We like our AIS and Radar and other navigation goodies aboard!
Last night, for the second night in a row, we saw one ship. This one was about six miles astern and most likely a large commercial fishing vessel. The previous nights was quite strange. It was about 400++ feet and it\’s decks completely lit up. It was not moving, did not display an AIS signal. It had \”RAM\” lights (restricted in ability to manuever) which actually gave it the right of way over us. He was about two miles away and I tracked him on radar to make sure he wasn\’t closing.
We passed uneventfully, but again, the middle of nowhere and two vessels are pretty darn close. I assume he may have been a survey vessel given the \”RAM\” lights and his lack of movement. He did not appear to be fishing. With the full moon we\’ve had the last few nights, the horizon has been visible for at least six miles all around us.
Another Fish Story…..:-)
So last night at 5:30 in the morning, I\’m up in the saloon reading a book on watch and I hear Nikki scream. I quickly run down into her cabin and she\’s mutter something incoherently. I think she\’s having a bad dream. Finally she answers me and tells me \”Flying Fish\”! I turn on the light and indeed, a flying fish about 10 inches long has managed to \”fly\” right through the cabin ceiling hatch onto the bed. First of all, it\’s kicking all over the place shedding scales everywhere and second of all they are the WORST smelling fish imaginable. As many of you know, I don\’t eat fish and one of the primary reasons is I CAN\’T STAND THE SMELL. I quickly got a paper towel, picked the beast up and tossed it back over the side out the ceiling hatch. Most of them die on deck and are found in the morning. This one lucked out and got a reprieve. Of course the stench required the bedding to be immediately put in the laundry and it\’s now hanging up to dry.
My previous best flying fish story was that both Cindy and I were simultaneously flown into at night while at the helm. A sudden whack in the face followed by a flaying object on the cockpit sole let you know what happened, but the scaly stench comes off on you right away. A quick shower is often the solution. Thank goodness we\’ve plenty of hot water. So the brave \”fish girl\” from Norfolk had to be saved by the Captain. It\’s good for my ego anyway…:-)
We\’ve 632 miles to go, a 176 nm day and we may or may not put up the spinnaker. We\’ll be half way in about 10 hours and looking forward to the luxury/eco island. I have visions of \”Fantasy Island\”…We shall see.
Scott and Fishy Nikki