I've never been hit by a flying fish, I've been lucky, they go seriously quick. They appear to be able to swoop around waves, but whether this is about airflow or sight I don't know. I suspect its feel of the air, cos dodging ships is absolutely behind them.
Its impossible to photograph flying fish
2 of of closest shaves have been on Island Kea. The first I was standing in the cockpit and one bounced off the top of the spray hood in front of me. It was dark and barely seen just a flash. The really scary one happened about dawn this morning.
It came in over the windward aft corner of the cockpit. I was under the spray hood in the forward leeward corner. It cleared the navpod in front of the wheel by a couple of inches, a big one. coming straight at me. No time to move I'm not kidding about the speed of these things. I didn't even react even though I was staring strait that way. No time.
It went thump in to the cockpit coming inches to the right of my head. Dead. Killed its self I assume, no sign of life. Chucked it back anyway.
Things have been going well, and though the future is not as rosy as I'd like I'm pretty optimistic.
We're 2/3 of the way there, in 13 days. Trouble is wind is now right behind us, which is slow and its light. Believe it or not sailing boats, or modern "fore and aft rigged" boats at any rate can't go right down wind. We have to zig zag not much but a bit. Its slow because sails don't just get in the way of the wind, they deflect the air in a curve and emulate an aeroplanes wing. Except when the winds right up your chuff, when they just get in the way of the wind and push you along slowly. When the winds even a little from the side, the motion of the boat forward changes the apparent angle of the wind forward. This increase the air flow across the sails, helping them set better and more airflow is better at smoothly flowing over the sails. Not when its right behind you. The boats motion is just subtracted from the wind speed. We've got apparent wind of about 7knots when its good. We've a cruising chute (large, simple, spinnaker) up, and are doing 5 knots.
Cruising Chute into the sunset
Pretty good going, we need it. Were not expecting much wind. We've still along way to go. Over 900 miles. If we'd got the current we'd expect this would be smaller and out speed would be better.
Where the hell's the South Equatorial Current? This passage is supposed to be big on free miles has been before. Charts my knowledge, the pilot books all have large amounts of favourable current everywhere. Its not here. When I say large amounts up to two knots further north. I'd expect a minimum of .5 of a knot. Nope.
Who's the expert anyway? I found my self disagreeing with Tony's predictions of the wind on this passage. I'd expect 15 knots to 20. He was taking about 25 knots +. Naaaa. This is the pacific the Trades aren't as strong as the Atlantic. He also said it'd be stronger at the Marquesas, again I disagreed I'd expect it to drop off towards the end.
Not many people sail this way. There's 30 odd boats on this biannual rally. Maybe 30 on the world arc. That's a significant chunk of all of the boats headed across I'd seriously believe an annual total of 150, maybe 250. Not a great number. Fewer still do it again its mostly a once-in- a- lifetime thing. I'm on my third trip across. That puts me into a very small group. Of the 50 billion odd people who live on this planet how many have done this several times? Some undoubtedly, but I've never met anyone personally. I know people with multiple Atlantic Crossings, Phylis on Mercury Rising and Delphine, former crew mate of Caroline's who's on a non rally boat out here somewhere are on their second crossings. Never met anyone on their third.
Errrr maybe I am the expert. Damn.