We often get the question- how is life on board a sailing boat that is traveling around the world. I am really bored at the moment and I have decided to write a diary meanwhile sailing up to Turks and Caicos. Maybe this will give you a idea how life on board is while cruising.
Before I start I just want to warn you- this is not going to be a diary full of action and juice details about though storms and a crazy sex life. This is a true story about sailing in 3 knots of speed over a distance of 500nm. Just to be clear- 900 km in a speed of 5.4 km a hour!!
07.00 1/3 2014
I woke up pretty early as always and decided to go ashore with my second best friend Vera. Anna is my best friend but she is as a person pretty tired so when she is a sleep Vera is my best friend. Vera is also good to have when you do boring stuff such as taking 300 pictures of Pelicans or snorkeling. She never complains and it looks like she is enjoying just sitting around watching you. Vera is also lazy like Anna but she doesnt really have a choice- she has to be my best friend now and then.
Anna made me breakfast meanwhile I was preparing the boat for a couple of days on open sea. Dingy up, check the engines, check the rig, close hatches and plot a route to our destination. While we had our breakfast on our porch 3 dolphins showed up and swim just next to us. Nowadays I always have my fins and mask outside, so that I can go into the water as fast as possible when cool things like this happen. Unfortunately Vera beat me to it this time and she managed to scare away the dolphin family before I got into the water- stupid dog!
Anchor up, sails up and away we are.
Vera and me started to fish, we have two lures in the water but I think we are way to slow to catch anything. Mostly we get fish when we are doing 6 knots or more.
We heard two PAN PAN on the radio. – One guy that lost his engine and the other one an unknown vessel that tried to contact the US coastguard. Both vessels were way to far from our position to even think about helping out.
Made an awesome drink with orange juice, lime and a little bit of Vodka. Anna refused to have one and Vera does not drink so I had to enjoy myself alone.
The handle to the bathroom door broke down, lucky me I just pored myself a drink- it makes it more fun to take out the toolbox.
I made spaghetti Bolognese for lunch. Anna said she liked it but I think she says that only so that I shall continue cooking food.
Highlight of the day. Seasickness is not only a bad thing. Because Anna is getting seasick easily she prefers to shower outside when we are alone! LOOKING GOOD!
Anna is asleep and we are doing 2,6 knots?!?! This leg will take us forever! We are going so slow that the fishing lures will soon overtake us!?
Put on the water maker. To be honest I dont really know if I did that cause we need water or if I just wanted to press a button. Anyway, the sun is shining on us and our solar panels gives us more power than we can use so- WATER IT IS!
We are now doing 2 knots of speed and it is actually the wave that pushes us forward rather than the sails.
I gave up! There is nothing worse than to sail in zero wind. The boat is just wobbling in the waves and the autopilot cant do its job. I started starboard engine and are running it at 1500 rpm. This will give us 4 knots of speed.
I hate going by engine, the only thing you know about engines is that they get older by every running hour and that it costs a fortune to repair them.
Anna is still a sleep and so is my second best friend. I think I will watch an episode of Breaking Bad.
Still no wind, but I managed to kill 2 episodes of Breaking Bad sense my last input. Anna woke up a while ago and she managed to kill a tube of Pringles potato chips in a couple of minutes- impressive! We got a wasp in our roof! Time for a shower!
Anna swopped engines. We run them 2 hours at the time. I dont know if this is the best way but I tell myself it is good for them. Letting them cool down a bit, keeps the oil thick!
One good thing about being alone out here is that you are alone out here! J
Time for another episode of Breaking Bad
JUST AFTER THE SUNSET the wind picked up from nothing to around 7 knots from behind. 7 knots is normally also filed under the category nothing but not today!
I changed the fishing lure to a luminous one, good for night fishing they say.
Making food- Tacos!
Anna is outside giving me instructions- for the food cooking that will say!
Wow this thing with a 24 hour diary was really retarded, I feel sorry for my poor dad that will read it- I think he will be the only one!
We have started to hear a lot of Spanish on the VHF radio, means we are getting closer to Puerto Rico.
Stopped fishing, prepared the Night Kit for Anna- lifejacket, transponder and a flashlight. No traffic to talk about out here. We can see a cruise liner far away in the distance- but thats it!
Time to get a couple of hours sleep!
One good thing about Zero wind condition is that I get a lot of sleep. Also Anna is not getting seasick in these conditions. We are still on engines and that really sucks. We have a few cargos on our port side along the coast of Puerto Rico. We are now doing only 3.5 knots and steaming at 1400 rpms. Vera is a sleep and we have a beautiful night with many stars. The moon is black so its really dark outside.
Anna went to bed.
BORING! I put in the navigation system inside as well as the radar and the steaming light. If you light up the boat like a Christmas three and use the radar alarm you can watch a movie or two meanwhile motoring. Time for an episode of Breaking Bad. I think I will wake Vera up.
The radar alarm is set- if anything gets closer to us than 2 miles it will sound an alarm! I can see a couple of boats on the radar but they are FAR away from us! You still need to be aware of small vessels that might show up as interference on the radar screen.
Swopped engines again. Made VHF contact with a ship called Carnival Valor and the officer on duty let me know that we could not expect any wind during the night! I do this now and then- contacting big vessels and ask the about the weather. Their weather system is way more advanced than ours and it is also free of charge. Another plus is that you have someone to talk to they are normally VERY helpful.
Back to Breaking Bad
Finished of yesterdays leftovers, only 18 cigarettes left! Problem? Off course! But the time has came to quit- I have no choice- I am not getting younger and bla bla bla. This will make this trip even slower than it already is!
The radar screen is blank and so is the horizon. I will get my self 30 minutes of sleep before it is time to change engines. We use two timers for when we sleep during our night watches. If one breaks you have one as backup!
The sun is rising and the sea outside looks more like a small lake back home rather than a big ocean. Still no wind.
Well, I think I will stop this diary thing now. I think you get the picture by now. When there is no wind- you shouldnt be sailing! Its retarded. Maybe I will do the same when we have rough conditions some day- that is a different story!