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"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders


Ed note: After a summer filled with cruising along the Mediterranean and conducting final preparations for their big voyage, Scott and Mary Flanders left September 16th, 2006 for the Canary Islands - the first stop in their great adventure taking them from Gibraltar to New Zealand by way of Cape Horn. After successfully traversing the Horn, the Flanders fell in love with the pristine cruising grounds of the "deep south" and decided to winter in Chile, thus postponing their arrival into New Zealand by a year, but they reached their goal destination in October 2008. Now plans call for exploring the lands of New Zealand and Australia. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised of their journey with weekly log reports.

October 21, 2006

After Egret's arrival, being assigned a berth in Bahia Marina, Salvador, Brazil, then visiting various FRIENDLY and accommodating authorities, we felt Egret had finally arrived. We celebrated that evening with pizza and a couple beers. Master Angler Steve said he hasn't been without a beer for our twenty days at sea since he was sixteen. Poor boy was dried out.

Our first impressions of Brazil are:

People are friendly.
There are too many cars.
This is a poor country for the masses but trying hard to modernize.
The working civil servants are treated with respect. The outside workers
such as motorcycle police and a fellow today using a weed eater alongside a
highway would make an OSHA calendar for their safety gear.
There is sad poverty.
Prices for domestically grown or produced goods are cheap.
Prices for anything imported are obscene.
We saw a fleet of working dugout canoes.
The mall (called 'shopping' here where the locals go to see and be seen)
could be anywhere in the world. Modern and clean.

Egret arrived Salvador with a fuel reserve of just 55 gallons (5.5% reserve) not including our deck fuel. We are very disappointed in our fuel flow meter after having it correct in the 708 nm trip from Gibraltar to Grand Canaria. We will calibrate it again before we leave. This is a perfect example of the safety of the usable day tank Egret does not enjoy as standard with the new designs. Unless the seas are relatively calm it is difficult to accurately gauge Egret's fuel with the sight gauges. With the centerline, relatively shallow front to back, but tall day tank of the new boats this is a simple procedure. This said, Egret could have very easily NOT sped up at the half-way point and arrived with considerably more fuel. We only had to go faster in rougher weather to keep the stabilizers happy.

We saw Voyage of Egret on the nordhavn.com website today for the first time. Wow!!! The pictures on the Mediterranean section took us right back. The 200 or so pictures that didn't make the cut were as good. You need to go and take your own pictures! Google Earth is amazing. Egret's last Daily Position Report was Oct 19th on arrival in Salvador. We mentioned we sent that log anchored off the marina waiting for the marina staff to arrive. Where the green pointer showed Egret's location (zoom down with the slide bar on the left) is EXACTLY where Egret was anchored. AMAZING!!! Wait until we are anchored among the islands south of Rio then zoom down on that and so on. What a trip this is going to be.

Mary and I have decided at the last minute to fly to Ft. Lauderdale leaving Brazil Sun, 22d Oct. Of course we will visit the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show (Oct 26-30) leaving the following Sunday. With our upcoming trip to Chile and beyond we cannot plan even to the month where we will be wand hen because of weather unknowns until later in the austral summer (Mar, Apr). We will visit family and friends during this frantic week. Perhaps we'll see you at the show.

Master Angler Steve will be taking care of our little fiberglass home and working on his cotton mouth.


October 19, 2006


Position: S12 58.54 W38 31.17 (anchored off Bahia Marina, Salvadore, Brazil, waiting for them to open.) distance traveled - 22 hrs - 15 min 137.2, Fuel burned 31.27, NM from La Gomera, Canary Islands 2804.76 NM, distance from Gibraltar 3613.23 NM

We made it, mi amigos!!! No major problems that were not able to be fixed underway and a routine passage under power alone in a small private motorboat. The Egret crew is well rested, well fed AND has a freezer full of fresh fish in addition to the rest. We have 1/2 of a lemon left, potatoes, 2 tomatoes, the last apple two days ago and kiwi two days before that. All is well. Champagne is in the freezer, Q flag is flying...the adventure begins. Thank you for joining the Egret crew in our personal voyage of discovery. More to follow...

 

October 18, 2006

Position: S11 48.56 W36 55.65 Course 245 degrees M, average speed at various rpms trying to slow - 5.7 knots, fuel burned 39.22 Gal, fuel burn 1.63 GPH, MPH 3.50, Seas 3-4' SE, apparent wind 7.5 knots SE, nautical miles to go 106.9 + jogging ofshore before a daybreak entrance into the bay, NM from Gibraltar 3476.04, NM from La Gomera, Canary Islands 2667.56 NM

The seas have moved behind Egret giving her a final downhill ride to her destination. Tomorrow's Daily Position Report will be a numerical wrap up of the voyage but will be brief with all the goings on ashore. This will end the daily logs until Egret is under way again. While ashore Egret will send reports on a more random basis passing on our impressions and mini-adventures.

Mary has done it AGAIN!! She put the boys to shame after their best efforts for 17 days. On the 18th day she picked up the rod and caught the largest fish of the trip, a fat 35-lb dolphin (mahi mahi). All Master Angler Steve did right was run the boat. All I did right was marry her 37 years, 323 days ago. The freezer is ALMOST packed. (Steve went back and squeezed all the air out of the zip lock's to make it 'almost packed') We boys have one more day to save face. We are close enough now, IF we catch another fish, what won't fit into the freezer we can give to other cruisers.

Well, mi amigos, we boys tried to stoop low and cheat. Since writing the words above we put two worms (baits) out to give it a last try. Within three minutes we had a double on dolphin. One jumped off as Master Angler Steve was fighting thru the fog getting out of bed after his four hour watch. He reeled in the second, a nice little 8-9 pounder. This is exactly what size we needed to fill the freezer. Did we keep it? Nope, back it went to try again as boys will. Ten minutes later we boys doubled on fifteen pounders filling the freezer AND the fridge. Unknown cruisers tomorrow will be very happy to meet the Egret crew when they arrive with bags of fresh dolphin fillets. Mary is champion!!!! The rods are cleaned and put away. The boys couldn't be happier. Note: One fish had a fresh marlin strike on its side. Can you imagine a real long range fishing boat pulling large baits to discourage the dolphin and fish for the BIG guys? (BIG guy = marlin big enough to eat a 15-lb dolphin whole...marlin have no teeth so all food must be eaten whole.)

Tomorrow will a big day for the Egret crew after 20 days at sea. Landfall at Bahia de Salvadore, Brazil. Egret's routine is so simple, her crew so well adjusted, the fishing so good AND we have the fuel to push on to Rio BUT we have to land somewhere. Salvadore is smaller and less complicated than Rio. We don't do complicated any more. Gave it up with ties and button down collars. Life is simple now. Salvadore has an international airport. There is a slight possibility we will be flying to Ft. Lauderdale for parts, family visits and of course the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show.

Egret's voyage to Brazil from the Canary Islands was really nothing special. It was simply different. We met a sailboater in Barcelona who has made this trip one way or another to Salvadore seven times in the past. Nothing special. What IS different is small passagemakers like Egret are routinely crossing oceans in SAFETY and COMFORT visiting far off places at will. Very few sailboats come to grief crossing oceans however even the largest of them do not enjoy the comfort of a modern passagemaker. We met them continually on the docks and anchorages here and there in the Med. One woman with a very expensive sixty three foot gold plater said she was tired of living at 12 degrees (of heel) while on passage. Can you imagine walking around your house for 20 days tilted 12 degrees, living in a cave, standing watch OUTSIDE, AND paying two million bucks?? Nope, not this kid.

Our generation of modern fiberglass Nordhavn passagemakers started with the Sinks' 46' Nordhavn's circumnavigation. The Sinks were followed by others at a trickle. In May 2004, PAE (Nordhavn folks) led a group of 18 passagemakers across the Atlantic making a very bold statement. That group has enjoyed memories for a lifetime. Perhaps you have read some of their words as each of them spread their personal wings and flew. At the same time another group of individual Nordhavns were making their way across the Pacific meeting here and there along the way. Anyone reading these words has read time and time again the bonding between cruisers. Egret's personal experience with the NAR group has formed lifelong friends. More and more, these small fiberglass ships are leaving their coastal cruising destinations with each new spring (the best time for crossing the Atlantic or Pacific).

These first groups are on the leading edge of a wave of passagemakers that someday a Canary Island to Brazil, So Calif to the Marquesas, etc will be viewed as routine, as it IS routine. Can you imagine the future you new Nordhavn owners have to look forward to after putting in your requisite learning miles? How about the folks with boats on order or who will order in the future? We will have a mushrooming group of like-minded people living simple lives on their COMFORTABLE boats around the world as only sailboaters enjoyed before. The future is very bright for us all.



October 17, 2006 -
Weather forecast

This is Egret's final weather report before arrival. As you can see it is similar to what we have been experiencing off and on during our voyage from La Gomera, Canary Islands. Bob's weather has been spot on as usual. We would like to thank him for that and particularly for a short e-mail on a SUNDAY telling us not to worry about the rain showers we were experiencing (and were experiencing) that it was not the leading edge of a tropical wave coming off the African coast. We would highly recommend Bob's services to all as was recommended to Egret by two fellow Nordhavn owners.

To: Captain Scott - M/Y EGRET 1 Fm: O.M.N.I./USA
1130GMT 17 OCT 2006
 
Tks/yr posn reports.
 
Latest observations indicate winds ranging ESE-ENE 12-18kts from your present location to arrival.
 
Weak high pressure just south of your location near 25S35W will dissipate later today as a weather front to the south/west attempts to push north/east, but is not expected to move north of 20S/lat prior to arrival.
A broader area of high pressure ridging is expected to persist across the south Atlantic waters which will keep maintain the mostly ESE-ENE wind/sea direction until arrival.  

Along your intended route, expect:
 
Tue/17: ESE-E, tending more ENE at times. 12-16kts, upto 18kts at times. Waves 3-5ft. Swells; ESE 4-6ft, 11-13sec. Partly cloudy.

Wed/18: E-ENE 12-16kt, upto 18-20kts at times. 3-5ft, upto 6ft at times. Swells ESE 5-7ft 10-12sec. May mix with a secondary SSE swells toward Wed/eve-night.  Partly cloudy.

Thur/19-arrival: ENE-NE 10-16kts, waves 3-5ft. Winds could become more NE-NNE prior to arrival Thur/pm.
 
This will likely be our last update prior to arrival. However, we will continue to watch and update if there is a significant change.  Please keep us advised of your departure plans and we will update prior to departure.

B/Rgds, Bob/OMNI


October 17, 2006

Position: S10 07.87 W35 21.79, Course 245 degrees M, average speed (we varied speed up and down according to the seas trying to slow for a daybreak approach to Salvadore) 6.4 knots, fuel burned 41.65 gallons, fuel burn 1.73 GPH, MPG 3.71, Seas 3-4' SSE, apparent wind 6.7 knots SSE, nautical miles to go 243.79, nm from Gibraltar 3338.28

Egret is in the Brazil Current sweeping her south. It appears at this point we will have to jog offshore just a bit in order to make a daylight landing in Salvadore, Brazil the morning of the 19th (and our grandson's first birthday). We are now on our final approach waypoint landing us offshore and east of the bay as recommended by the cruising guide.

Yesterday we caught a nice fat dolphin of 20lbs and soooo for dinner last night and for lunch today we had/will have fried dolphin with six full meals in the freezer. Boat issues. While making water we found on a routine engine room check a low pressure water maker hose with a pinhole leak spraying sea water. Fortunately there was no damage and was fixed in short order with everything getting a fresh water bath after. Engine room checks are a once-an-hour ritual 24 hours a day for the Egret crew.

Egret uses 15-40 Shell Rotella T engine oil for the main, wing, generator and stabilizers making oil inventory simple. In Europe Shell Rotella T is named Rimula, packaged in 20 liter pails (approx 5 1/4 gal) available at the Shell fuel dock in Gibraltar (best price) and elsewhere in every Mediterranean rim country. We used our last Stateside 5-gallon pail of oil in Barcelona preparing for the trip to Gibraltar. In Barcelona we bought 9 - 20ltr pails of Rimula against the slight possible chance Gibraltar would not have enough paying more but guaranteeing our supply to New Zealand. If you haven't guessed already we are VERY picky about oil for our little lady's beating heart of Egret. We changed oil in Gibraltar and again in La Gomera, Canary Islands, our last port before the leap to Brazil.

From Barcelona we placed a call to Dick Gee, VP and Technical Director of Lugger/Northern Lights asking about our approximate 480 hour voyage from the Canaries to Brazil to ask about changing oil. (Egret's normal oil change interval is 200 hours) We had made our mind up NOT to change oil mid ocean unless there were strong objections from Dick. Dick's reply was very adamant, underscored and capitalized. DO NOT STOP MID OCEAN AND CHANGE OIL!!!!! THIS is what we wanted to hear officially. Egret's little engine has never missed a beat, ever, but if after a mid-ocean oil change we turned the key and she didn't light up things would be VERY bad.

We changed oil in the gear as well. We also bought straight 30 weight Rimula for the cold weather in Chile to be changed at that time. Egret's gear has an over and under temperature dictating oil viscosity, either straight 40 weight or straight 30 weight. The plate on the gear gives the temps so by using your infra red temperature gun it is a simple task to determine viscosity. For gear oil changes we use a small rotary gear pump from Reverso, # GP301-12, the same manufacture who provides the oil change system for the main, etc, to PAE.

One small trick we did was to put battery clips on one end of 25' of 14-2 electrical wire. Hooked in line on the other end of the wire's positive side is a 10 amp circuit breaker with an on/off switch. From there we added a short pigtail with bullet connectors (female connector on positive - male connector on negative). To this we attach either our Reverso gear oil changing pump or the Jabsco Water Puppy pump we use to clean and wash the fuel tanks. Now we have a single extension cord clipping to the nearest 12V power source serving two pumps with on/off switching at the pump.


October 16, 2006

Position: S07 57.91 W33 58.15 Course 228 degrees M, average speed at 1600 RPM - 4 hours at 1550 RPM 6.9 knots, Fuel burned 58.93 gal, fuel burn 2.45 GPH, MPG 2.80, Seas 4-6' with chop SSE - SSW, apparent wind 13.6 knots SSE, 396.9 nm to go, 3183.41 nm from Gibraltar

More of the same with the seas becoming more confused but subsiding a bit. (Enough to put the baits back out). In timing our arrival in Salvadore at the current speed we would arrive at midnight GMT or so. We have slowed 50 RPMs, the most we can to slow down and be comfortable, but with the current picking up as we near the coast slowing will be difficult unless the seas lay down as predicted. If not we will cruise back and forth north of our landing well offshore then enter the following morning.

This trek has gone by so smoothly and quickly it is hard to believe just a bit ago Mary and I were fueling in Gibraltar to begin our longest trek to date and 20,000 nm adventure. This is the second longest single span of ocean we should have to cross, perhaps ever. Next year's trek from the Galapagos to the Marquesas is about 200 NM further.

If you read and reread our words over time, between the lines you will see a clear picture of a lifestyle of adventure we, very average people, are enjoying. There is no reason you cannot as well. It all begins with a first step. Perhaps these words are the first step. Next one's on you.

Today we'll mention a few diverse subjects as Egret's trip winds down and these subjects are fresh in mind.

Windshield glass. This trip has produced very little windshield spray compared to some trips but as the wind increases we do get spray on the glass. The past two days there has been at times heavier spray coating the glass with salt. Now we will make a statement those of you without raked backed windshields won't understand. We have NEVER used our windshield wipers. We have installed two sets of wiper blades as they deteriorated JUST to keep them from sticking on the glass. Mary regularly puts three coats of Rain X on the glass before any long trip and keeps two coats on all during the cruising season. At night with the radar, autopilot light, and wind speed light dimmed we can see quite well through the windshield glass even with salt. We turn off all other instrument lights, change the navigation laptop to night mode THEN cover it with a heavy towel so there is NO light. During heavier weather the windshield is constantly washed with seawater so the glass stays clear. In light spray such as this trip we use our salt water wash down hose to rinse the glass of cake salt then squeegee the remaining water off. This is an every two or three day process if it is safe to do so. As an aside we have no dirt accumulation on the glass nor the extreme south Florida heat transfer as we did on our previous traditional trawler.

Sleeping under way in a mid ship stateroom. This is very different than a traditional forward stateroom boat. It is COMFORTABLE. Egret came with a four inch foam mattress that was not uncomfortable but not good enough. There are several stores in Ft Lauderdale (our home) specializing in mattresses for boats. They have powder coated coil spring mattresses that look good on paper and is what we intended to buy. Expensive, but it doesn't matter for something so important. Their showroom have all their mattresses lined up for demo. What we ended up buying and having custom fitted was a seven inch thick foam mattress of different layered density's of foam with no coil springs. Mary and I are light weight so for us it was far and away the most comfortable. A further treat was it cost much less. It is difficult to describe motion underway however the best description we can think of is like sleeping on a water bed with a restless other half. There are wave like undulations in the mattress. With beam seas there is an occasional lurch, as if they got up, plus the sometimes slap of water against the hull. All this soon becomes common as if living on a busy street. On a passage after the first or second day sleep is not a problem not because you are so tired but simply because you have acclimated to the routine.

Salon door underway. An open salon door underway can be a cooling friend or your worst nightmare. When running down sea or in no wind we leave Egret's salon door open. When running into the wind, particularly if it is choppy we SHOULD close the salon door and most times do. What happens is when the boat runs up sea the cockpit is under some negative pressure like a car has the 'station wagon effect'. Now, with the the boat pitching and slapping the swim platform in the water (Egret's platform is external, new designs are integral with less spray) it sends up a fine spray. A portion of this migrates to the cockpit and into the salon coating everything with a fine salt patina. This will eventually take its toll on electronic gizmo's and such. Mary and I are not particularly sensitive to heat so we have kept the salon door closed running up sea. With our melting Midwesterner crew member we have kept the door open during the day so we have the salt issue. The new designs with dutch doors help quite a bit by keeping the bottom portion closed, Egret's are sliding. If we owned a Nordhavn 55 or larger we would have a second small generator installed to run a zone or two of air to COMPLETELY eliminate the running up sea problem. The cure for salt mist is a fresh water and vinegar wipe down.


October 14, 2006

Position: S03 08.80 W31 33.89, Course 227 degrees M, distance traveled160.0 NM, average speed at 1450 RPM's (at 0445 we increased speed to 1500 RPM to counter building seas) 6.7 knots, fuel burned 44.83 gallons, fuel burn 1.86 GPH, MPG 3.58, swells 5-9' with chop and light spray SSE, apparent wind 17.9 knots SE, NM to go 716.3, NM from Gibraltar 2861.64

The wind and seas have been building since early morning. The seas are moving more toward the beam giving Egret more motion but is not uncomfortable. You now need close hand holds to move around. No problem aboard Egret. Master Angler Steve's filleted and released tunny was an unexpected treat. With red meat like a bonito we didn't have much expectations for anything other than a source of fresh tuna salad. Mary fried the tunny tenderloins. They were great!! Steve said they tasted like veal cutlets. They had no strong tuna taste like the few Med tuna we caught and were much better than the blackfin tuna we used to catch in the Fla Keys.

We thought we would pass along a fishing tip on fighting large fish from your Nordhavn in rough seas making it easier, taking less time and less apt of a mishap. Egret trolls one or two below surface baits trying to discourage billfish from biting and encourage the pelagic fish we like to catch for food, mahi mahi, tuna and wahoo. (Surface baits are attractants for billfish and the others as well except for tuna but particularly billfish.)

Our attitude is, if they bite fine, if not fine. The oceans we have traveled and read about will provide plenty of fish over the miles.

Sport fishermen are designed to catch fish. They have a deep forefoot and are flat aft. They can spin on the forefoot keeping square to the fish and are more stable 'dead boat' than your traditional round bilge voyager. In large seas such as the other day when Steve caught his tunny going 'dead boat' in Egret would have been a disaster. Something we learned years ago tarpon fishing in South Florida is to fight 'half' the fish. Keep pulling on the same side of the fish. A good example is if given a set of dumbbells and told to curl the weight with one arm until you are tired you would do just that THEN switch to the other arm to rest the first and so on. Fish are no different. When a large fish first hits a trolled bait and makes its first run there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it until the fish stops to aerate (catch its breath) and swims back and forth regenerating energy for its second run. On the fish's first run leave the rod in the holder. It is a better fisherman at that point than you are and you will conserve your energy as the fish expends theirs.

Now, here is the big tip. Put your boat into a fairly large circle keeping the fishing line 45 degrees to the transom and start a turn to port or starboard. Here the fish fights the line drag and the angler can recover line without fighting the fish. As the angler recovers line tighten the circle but keep turning in the same direction fighting HALF the fish. Soon the line will be out of sight meaning the fish is somewhere directly behind and close to the boat. By now the fish is whipped from fighting the line drag, not the rod and angler, and will be happy to be brought gently to the back of the boat for landing. Tuna after their first run typically go deep, spread their pectoral fins as diving planes making them very difficult to pry to the surface. By circling you 'screw' them to the surface going in circles vs trying to muscle them topside.

Bill fish are an exception to this at times. Sometimes a bill fish will be 'hot' and burn its energy greyhounding away from the boat or jumping repeatedly again burning its energy. These fish when calmed down can be circled as well, particularly after their first run.

So there you have it. Let your thin semi circle of line do your work for you. You will have maintained enough speed circling for your stabilizers to work. For the non believers in this practice try this test. Attach nothing to your line. Let out 500' of line directly behind the boat at cruising/trolling speed. Have your mate put the boat in a wide circle. Now, reel in the line tough guy. You'll see. Tight lines, mi amigos.


October 14, 2006

Iridium (Egret's e-mail sattelite phone) reception has been getting worse during this past week but have been getting a consistent 0730 and a 1200-1300 service so far. Today, Oct. 14, we have had no service since the noon report. Reading a RCC cruising guide dated 2002 said there is no Iridium coverage in the S Atlantic. So if you don't receive any e-mail's it is for that reason. We won't sink on the way. Will take this one step at a time.

 

October 12, 2006 - Weather forecast

The latest weather forecast from OMNI Bob. This forecast shows increasing swells but no real weather. Egret rides up and down the sea swells like a duck. Occasionally we get a slap from the chop on top with a little light spray. To date on the entire trip there has been no heavy spray on the windshield glass. There is rain all around Egret with an overcast sky. The pilothouse temp is 83 degrees. We are only 1.5 degrees from the equator. Amazing. We are hoping for a nice fresh water rinse.

To: Captain Scott - M/Y EGRET 1
Fm: O.M.N.I./USA
0807GMT 12 OCT 2006
 
Latest satellite imagery you are well south of the Equatorial Trough and clear skies prevail from your location nearing the Equator south across 05S/lat and the coast of Brazil. The prevailing weather pattern will be high pressure ridging across the S/Atlantic with a stationary ridge extending toward 15S 40W. Little overall change is expected in this ridge through Fri/am, then it should be as a reinforcing high ridge approaches from the south/west. This high cell will re-establish the high ridge pattern and allow for gradually increasing SE-E wind/sea and swells during the mid to later part of the period. In addition, a weather front that moves north/east ahead of the high center should extending NW across 25S 40W thru Oct 15-16 before it finally weakens to a trough and dissipate by late Oct 16. As it does, the winds may tend to back to a more ENE-NE direction along the coast of Brazil south of 05S/lat toward 10S lat during Oct 16-18.  
Along your intended route, expect:
Thu/12: ESE-SSE 12-20kt. Waves 5-7ft. Swells SE-ESE 5-7ft (10-12sec), with a long, secondary SSW-S swell 4-6ft (12-14sec). Skies Clear. Fri/13: SE-ESE 12-20kt. Waves 4-6ft, upto 7ft early.  Swells ESE & SSE 6-8ft, 11-13sec. Clear. Sat/14: Ease ESE 12-18kts. Waves 4-6ft, tending closer to 3-5ft at times.

Swells ease a bit SSE-SE 5-7ft 11-13sec. Clear. Sun/15: ESE-E 12-18kts. Waves 3-5ft. Swells SSE-SE 5-7ft, upto 8ft late. 9-11sec. Clear to partly cloudy. Mon/16: ESE-E, chance more ENE during the pm/hrs; 12-18kts, freshen 15-21kts by the pm/hrs. 4-6ft, upto 7ft pm/hrs. Swells: Build SSE-SE 6-8ft (8-10sec).
 
We will continue to watch daily. Updating every 2-3 days, unless there are changes or otherwise advised. 

 

October 12, 2006

Position: N01 31.86 W29 14.36 Course 224 degrees M, Distance traveled 151.9 nm, average speed at 1450 RPM's 6.3 knots, fuel burned 39.0 gallons, fuel burn 1.62GPH, MPG 3.89, swells 4-8' SSW with chop on top, apparent wind 14.0 knots, nm to go 1029.6, nm from Gibraltar 2548.2

The past 24 hours were much the same as the day before. Egret is running into sea swells from the SSE with a little chop on top. Egret rides over these swells like a duck. We may not be able to serve afternoon tea with a silver set balanced on five fingers with scones in the other tray but it is very comfortable.

Very late this evening or very early tomorrow am Egret will cross the EQUATOR. This is a first for the Egret crew and Steve as well. We will break Egret's dry ship while underway tradition and pop the bubbly. This is a big milestone for Egret. We are happy to share this with you.

Yesterday afternoon Master Angler Steve hooked and fought to the transom a very small (25lbs est) marlin. Like any frisky child it didn't have the power to fight the 40lb tackle but did its best by shaking its head trying to free its self. Fortunately it did get free right at the transom. We DO NOT kill billfish aboard Egret. With small fish that can't use up all their energy during a prolonged fight this means grabbing its wildly thrashing bill with a wet towel (a billfish's bill is rough like a rasp so immediately gets tangled in a wet towel) to hold it still enough to remove the hook and set it free. Larger billfish are actually easier but take much longer to land.

Boat issues. Now for the biggie!!! Usually biggies are VERY unwelcome bits of information about the demise of this or that. This biggie is REALLY good news. After struggling with the water maker high pressure pump - taking it apart again and again to the same result - we finally put down the manual with its words of wisdom and reassembled the high pressure valves by intuition. With the high pressure hose wrapped in four towels (the last HP hose burst near the inverter - REAL bad potential there) and held in one hand we cranked that puppy up n' letterrip. Well, mi amigos, we were making WATER!!! Twenty five gallons of wonderful RO water an hour! Bamboo shoots under the fingernails of the laddie who gave the Egret crew a manual that was 'close to' what pump we have. We were actually thinking about flying to Ft. Lauderdale to get a complete spare pump head and leaving this one for a rebuild. Of course we would have timed the flight to arrive during the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show later this month. Now all is well for the Egret crew EXCEPT for Egret's dripping, seeping, weeping stabilizer gyro. Just think, only two more oil top offs and Egret will be in Brazil. Any of you ordering new boats do yourself a BIG favor and order electronic stabilizers, not Egret's dinosaur. (In fact, order two and send one to Brazil c/o M/Y Egret.)


October 11, 2006

Position: N03 49.42 W28 08.78, Course 222 degrees M, Distance traveled 143.9nm, Average speed at 1450 RPM's 6.0 knots, fuel burned 45.79 gal, fuel burn 1.9 GPH, MPG 3.14, seas 4-8' SSW swells with chop, apparent wind 14.0 SSW, 1181.1nm, distance from Gibraltar 2396.7nm.

The opposing current is fading a bit with Egret picking up speed. The wind speed has ranged from 14-22 knots. The fairly spaced swells with chop on top have Egret hobby horsing but is not uncomfortable. There are NO boat issues to report. Master angler Steve caught and released a small tuna before dark. All is well. Now for our feature story.

This is a sea tale about fellow NAR participant, Teri Strickland. The metamorphosis of Teri Strickland has been a 2 1/2 year work in progress. This is being written first to congratulate Teri on her new degree and secondly to give hope and inspiration to every man whose wife DOES NOT want to go to sea and conversely the wives who have inspired their HUSBANDS to go to sea. We met two such couples during our Med cruise where the wife insisted they buy a boat and go cruising and of course the men are now loving it.

Teri and her husband Scott bought their beautiful new Nordhavn 47, Strickly for Fun, three years or so ago and immediately cruised to the Pacific North West from Southern California. When the NAR was announced the timing couldn't have been worse to have a boat in the PNW. Leaving the PNW in Feb they pounded their way south, down to Mexico getting killed by storms in the Gulf of Teuhantepec, south to the Panama Canal, took a breather in the San Juans, fought the northerly 'Christmas Winds' north up the Thorny Path to Isla Mujeres, Mexico and of course getting mauled on the way to Key West. Teri made most of the trip. Teri got terribly seasick. Teri and Scott are from Minn ee sooooo tah, home of walleye boats and stable ground.

Teri arrived in Ft Lauderdale for the start of the NAR excited about the adventure but NOT looking forward to more of the above. Fast forward to late June 04. Teri made the Atlantic crossing fulfilling her husband's dream, had gotten sick, BUT stuck it out. That accomplishment no one can ever take away from her. She DID it. Now however, anyone showing any enthusiasm or encouragement around her husband got the SQUINTY EYES. Daggers, if you will. This was not HER deal. So it went. We wintered that year in Barcelona together. The following season a Nordhavn group met that July in Rome. Grey Pearl, Strickly and Egret spent three days in Venice having a great time. Later we met on Italy's Amalfi Coast, Sicily and again in Malta. The miles are piling up. Teri, in spite of herself, is talking boat talk. The next year the group wintered together in Marmaris, Turkey. Teri and Scott kept up their heavy entertainment schedule this year with boat guests. The miles and boat routine are getting comfortable for Teri.

THEN IT HAPPENED!! We got a friendly e-mail from Teri describing their crossing of the Golfe du Lion in France where they got mauled again, as Egret did, but she only got sick once. (Teri calls it her PAE diet.) You could see Teri blossoming through words. This goes on until her last e-mail from Gibraltar where she was describing helping Scott in the engine room work on some water pump going on about heli coils and such. This is from our Teri, aka Squinty Eyes toward the Egret crew, devils of enthusiasm. The e-mail was signed, Love you, Teri.

Soooo, we would like to acknowledge Teri's metamorphosis in nautical terms, from snow bird to a beautiful sea bird. Teri has now joined the group of SSD's, Salty Sea Dogs. She and Scott will spend part of this winter in the Caribbean aboard Strickly for Fun. SFF is now preparing for a fall crossing to the Caribbean. They plan to join the Nordhavn group being put together by NAR participant Ken Williams for a spring 08 Pacific crossing. rtwcruising.com Congratulations Teri.

 

October 10, 2006

Position: N05 57.70 W27 03.87, Course 224 degrees M, Distance Traveled 124.4nm, Average speed at 1450RPM's 5.2 knnots, Fuel burned 47.7 Gallons, fuel burn 1.98 GPH, MPG 2.60, seas 4-6' swells with chop on top SSE, Apparent wind 18.8 SSE, NM to go 1321.7, NM from Gibraltar 2252.2

Egret is pushing her way through a wind blown chop on top of swells from the SSE with the same opposing current as yesterday. Last evening continuing through this morning the wind has ranged from 16-22 knots with periods of rain. Egret is handling it well but this means you can't come into the pilothouse with a cup of coffee in each hand as before. (Mary's words) For dinner last night we ate some beans that had soaked all day in sea water instead of the usual fresh. If you remember, the water maker no workee so we're trying to conserve. Well, my dirt dwelling friends, unless you are lucky enough to be at sea like some NAR buddies and others, if we died today in 2000 years we would appear the same. Preserved with salt.

Boat issues. Starting after the 0500-0900 watch there came a banging noise from somewhere. Usually that is a jar overturned in the cupboard rolling back and forth. The way we are provisioned that isn't going to happen. Soon we found the noise coming from the chain locker. We have three anchor snubbers made up and hanging on pegs so we thought that was it. After daylight the seas laid down a bit so we went forward to take care of the problem but found instead the heavy shackle attached to the bow towing eye just above the waterline loose. (This is pre connected to the parachute anchor for deployment) A quick tightening of the line took care of that.

Now the biggie. Why does there have to be a biggie????? At around 0300 Steve woke me and said the stabilizer low oil light is on. Steve had already shut off the unit. Egret's gyro to oil tower gasket leaks 1 1/2 pints of oil a week under way. This is after five gasket changes. Perhaps we should weld it shut. Quickly checking that the assembly of catch basins and oil diapers underneath the oil tower didn't show THAT much oil loss. The leak was under the master berth. There is a blue anodized aluminum cap sealed with an o-ring covering a little dealie that adjusts the fin alignment. THAT little dealie has an 0-ring that is leaking. This happened before but on a much smaller scale. My call to the stabilizer rep ended with the fix as "tighten the cap then see if the leak gets any worse" or something very close. This is like finding the bath tub leaking and caulking the bathroom door to fix the problem. The door leaked. With the door re caulked, nailed shut (safety wired) the oil reservoir refilled, and numerous half hour fluid level checks later all is well.

Please don't get me wrong. We love our stabilizers. They work 99.99% of the time. They perform a very large and important function. Comfort and safety. We just wish they would perform like our wonderful little Lugger.

Tomorrow we shall highlight fellow NAR participant and graduate SSD, Salty Sea Dog, Teri Strickland.


October 9, 2006

Position: N07 47.36 W26 03.75, Course 223 degrees, distance traveled 125.4nm, average speed at 1350 RPM 5.2 knots, fuel burned 42.71 gal, fuel burn 1.77 GPH, MPG 2.93, seas 4-6' variable swells, apparent wind 4.7 knots, nm to go 1446.6, nm from Gibraltar 2126.7

First you will notice our drastic reduction in nm traveled in the past 24 hours along with the average speed. Also notice the good GPH vs the terrible MPG. MPG is everything!! We are fighting a strong head current plus the little wind there has been is on the bow. We lifted the paravane arms this morning to reduce windage when it was blowing a little more than reported. (We always report the conditions as of 1200GMT. During the course of the previous 24 hours quite often there are many changes in wind direction, seas, etc. The daily averages are all that matter.) In the past 24 hours Egret reached a milestone of having traveled 2000nm from Gibraltar. During this 24 hours Egret will reach another...half way from La Gomera, Canary Islands to our landfall in Bahia de Salvadore, Brazil. To treat our selves we have increased RPMs to 1450. Because of conservation and our additional deck fuel we could run at any speed we wished. We did not need the deck fuel at all or even close but this is Egret's first really long push. Being safety conscious we added deck fuel for insurance.

Currently we have been traveling for three hours in a gentle soaking rain. In another half hour or so we enter another. Fortunately there is no wind or lightning. Yesterday we were surrounded by rain but unfortunately all missed us. Yesterday we received a short e-mail from OMNI Weather Bob warning us about the rain with the message this was not part of a tropical disturbance moving off the African coast. This was on a Sunday. Great caring service.

Until yesterday our mechanical issues were Steve's stateroom fan shedding half a blade. Spare blade installed Steve was back in business. Because of the high ambient temperatures and corresponding high engine room temps we have been running a second engine room 12V blower. Yesterday afternoon both quit. Knowing the life span of these 12V units Egret carries spares. We have 2 new ones plus one we had new brushes installed in Turkey in a third. Unfortunately Turkish brushes are soft so that one will run from 1-200 hours. In Brazil hopefully we can stock up on brushes. One new blower is installed. Steve is going to try to take the brushes from both failed units and make one that will run hopefully another 200-300 hours.

Now for the biggie. We decided to make water and do laundry before we transferred the approximate 1000 lbs. of fuel from the bow bladder tank to the port internal tank. This would sink the generator exhaust again for a couple of days until the fuel load lightened. (This is an anomaly of the 46 plus our extremely heavy provisioning load on the port side.) I fired up the water maker and Mary started the first load of laundry. The water maker high pressure hose was hammering, not usual, however I thought perhaps it was bleeding off air or something else. Other than the hammering all seemed well with excellent flow, 25gph, and water quality. Nervous, I kept checking the unit. Within less than an hour the high pressure hose had blown. Egret has a single length of high pressure hose in spares along with new compression sleeves so within a short time all was back together. We fired up the water maker again but soon shut it down. We have no more spare hose. So...out came the troubleshooting section of the Matrix brochure. Hammering is either poor water flow or a broken valve spring. The water flow is 40 lbs. at the inlet filter and roaring out the discharge thru hull. Later today I will disassemble the pump head and will probably find a broken spring. NO SPARES. I was told "this will run forever" when I asked about spares. We'll see. Flying parts into Brazil is probably next to impossible but it has to happen. We sent an e-mail to the marina in Bahia asking if we can send small parts in care of M/Y Egret with no reply of yet. We'll just send them anyway and fight it out later.

Bottom line: Egret has 90 gallons of water for 9 days. Raritan Atlantes heads are fresh water flush but have a dry flush feature for this purpose. Just lift the toggle instead of tapping it down. We now have buckets of seawater in both showers for flushing. Not a problem but no long cool showers for 9 days.


October 8, 2006

Position: N09 37.60 W25 02.70 Course 222 degrees, distrance traveled 147.0nm, average speed at 1350 RPM 6.1 knots, fuel burned 41.97 Gal, fuel burn 1.74 GPH, 3.50 MPG, confused 4-6' swells from SW & SSE (gentle), apparent wind 3.1 knots SSE, 1869.8nm to go, 2002.25nm from Gibraltar.

It has been another easy 24 hours for the Egret crew. There have been two milestones: single digits from the equator and just past 2000nm from Gibraltar where Egret started her trek to NZ. We are currently surrounded by rain squalls, one with lightning. We have a spare gps in the microwave along with two laptops. As soon as this message is sent the Iridium phone will join them.


October 7, 2006

Position: N11 52.34 W23 58.51, Course 216 degrees M., distance traveled 153.4nm, average speed at 1350 RPM 6.4 knots, fuel burned 40.49 gallons, GPH 1.68, MPG 3.78, Seas 6' swells ENE, Apparent wind 3.9 ENE, NM to go 1722.8, distance from Gibraltar 1853.79nm

Egret has been enjoying downhill (down sea) sailing with a mild push from the wind. Egret is riding gently up and down with mild sea swells passing under. Yesterday late afternoon the flying fish were so thick when we pushed large schools into the air it sounded like rain. Never in my many years of fishing offshore have I seen that once to that degree, much less every 20 minutes or so. Mary's watch (2100-0100) had the moon rise full and bright. Steve's watch (0100-0500) was dolphin watch with 1 1/2 hours of a dolphin escort, Scott's watch (0500-0900) saw the moon set and sunrise.

As Egret nears the equator the air temperature is rising. In the afternoon it was 92 degrees in the pilot house. The fuel bladder on the foredeck is keeping the hatches closed. Tomorrow we will empty it. Today we do laundry and make water while the generator exhaust is well above water and it is relatively calm. Our Colorado via Minn crew buddy Steve is melting. His tears are rotting our new Turkish carpets. His new best friend is the ice maker. He has kept it running 24-7. What is going to happen in 11.48 degrees??? Big E baby. We may have to troll Steve to keep him cool. Oh well....

Yesterday I was asked by a good friend via e-mail "what is a bounce"? A bounce is simply an Egretism for rough water. Major bounce is described with details. Egret has never been in what we consider a major bounce. The next few months lends itself to that possibility. We'll see......


October 5, 2006

Position: N16 24.42 W22 04.74 Course 200 degrees, distance traveled 148.2, average speed at 1350 RPM 6.2 knots, fuel burned 41.97 Gal, fuel burn 1.74 GPH, MPG 3.53, seas 3' ESE, apparent wind 8.2 knots ESE, NM to go 2014.7, distance from Gibraltar 1558.79

You may notice a course change from our usual 209 degrees. At breakfast this morning Steve hooked a billfish on the left long bait that was pulling major drag in a big hurry. Unfortunately the eye of the hook straightened (not welded as usual) & that was that. We have been in constant flying fish for three days so where there is food, bigger critters follow. Mary picked out a seamount slightly off course 40 miles ahead so with fishing fever we have changed course to give it a try. Seamounts are natrual attractants throughout every ocean. As ocean currents swirl around the seamount it consolidates the bait drawing the big guys. At 24 miles out we'll take the radar to 24 miles. If there are local Cape Verde boats fishing the seamount we'll give it a pass. This isn't the States. We'll see.

OMNI Bob has been calling the weather right on and it has been beautiful. Last night was a full moon lighting up the flyers as they scatter away from the boat. That and the sunrise this morning were outstanding.

The flying fish we had for lunch yesterday were not a dissapointment. They had a very mild white meat (no fishy taste at all) with a crispy fried batter shell. That and a fresh fruit salad made a tasty and healthy lunch.

Life is very good aboard M/Y Egret. Now if the fish will snap all will be well.

Some minutes later...

Master angler Steve just caught and released a once in five lifetime billfish. (Yes we have movies plus stills.) Steve caught and released alive an approximate 12lb Spearfish. This is a long, thin, short-billed fish with a soft dorsal fin raised in the front lowering to a ribbon-like fin to the tail. The color is a brilliant blue with greens and a mother of pearl like radiance. It is probably the most beautiful fish I have ever seen. It ate the most unsophisticated bait in the world, a blue and pink octopus skirt with a 1 oz sinker slid inside. This is a sinking bait as the bait the very much larger billfish we lost this morning ate. If we wanted to catch billfish we would put out surface baits. This is amazing. The cruising guide said the area between the Cape Verdes and Africa is one of the best fishing areas in the world. The Cape Verde island of Boavista is 32 miles due west of Egret and Senegal, Africa is 325 miles due east.

This is a perfect case for the new Nordhavn expedition fishing boat. You simply can't get here without huge range. There are no support facilities. Can you imagine fishing these areas littered with sea mounts for a couple of weeks in route from the Maderia blue marlin bite to Brazil for their season? Wild, wild!! (Sorry, I'm reverting back to my fishing days.)

 

October 4, 2006

Position report: N18 43.02 W21 10.77, Course 209 degrees, distance traveled 140.7nm, average speed *see note below 5.9 knots, fuel burned 43.67 gal, fuel burn 1.81 GPH, MPG 3.22, 3-4' N swells, apparent wind 4.6 knots N, 2610nm to go, 1410.77 nm from Gibraltar.

Yesterday afternoon we transferred the 89.5 gallons of fuel in the cockpit bladder into the port tank. Later the wind pick up clocking more to the port side (ENE). The stabilizers were taking a beating from the low rpm so at 2030 we added 100 rpm (from 1350 to 1450) that settled things down. At 0030 this morning Mary reduced rpms to 1400 with declining seas and at 0500 Steve went back to 1350 rpms. We have had a many hour head current plus the inefficiency of somewhat rough water giving us the decline in distance traveled and GPM average for the past 24 hours.

Let me take the time here to make an important point. You see I am stressing MPG. This is assuming you know the distance to travel and have pre-planned sufficient fuel with a strong reserve. This also assumes you have a way to accurately measure your fuel remaining at all times. I personally don't believe in electric gauges. In the boats we used to build, electric gauges were a fairy tale but was all we could install. I believe in sight gauges, shrouded sight gauges. They never lie. GPH/speed is figured at no wind/no current with a modest load. In real life cruising there is a bottom-bottom line for efficiency and performance, MPG. These figures are only good for the past 24 hours and perhaps a little ahead in similar stable weather. MPG is infinitely variable because of rpm, gph, wind, wave direction and height, current, boat weight, just to mention a few. The balance is curiosity and math.

Speed is up a bit now at 6.4 knots with little wind or waves (both are favorable so if this current will reverse or go away we'll be rockin'.) We'll see. In the big picture it doesn't really matter. We'll get there when we get there.

Early this morning was flying fish night on my watch (0500-0900). I collected about 10 good sized flyers and one monster. They are resting in a zip lock in the fridge for today's lunch. Capt Scott is going to dip them in milk and egg then tumble them in a zip lock with a batter of 50-50 Ritz type crackers and flour. A quick fry in hot-hot olive oil should do the trick. We'll see. This is a first for the Egret crew. If Capt (Lucky) Jack Aubrey can do it shouldn't we?

In this great weather we put out two worms to drag and hopefully catch a yellowfin tuna, wahoo or mahi mahi. More to follow...



October 3, 2006
- Weather forecast

OMNI Bob's forecasts are right on or very close. This is the latest.

Latest satellite imagery indicates some clouds with showers between the Canary-Cape Verde Islands with no disturbances moving off the W/Africa coast. The Equatorial trough has weakened with only a few isolated weak to mod thunderstorms along the trough axis.

The low pressure area to your north/west is beginning to weaken and should continue to do so during the next 24-48hrs. As it does, high pressure to the north will begin to build which will gradually enhance the NE-ENE winds and swells thru Oct 5th. This building high ridge pattern will also help keep the equatorial trough weaker reducing the risk of strong disturbances from moving off the coast of Africa.

The overall weather pattern remain good along your intended route, expect:

Tue/03: NE-NNE 12-20kt, WNW-NW swells subsiding 3-5ft to 2-4ft thru tonight. ENE to NE sea/swells build from 3-5ft to 4-6ft, period 8-10sec thru tonight.

Wed/04: NNE-NE 12-20kts, NNE-NE 5-7ft with low WNW-NW swells. Thur/05: NE-NNE 12-20kt early. Easing some NNE-ENE 10-16kts. Waves 3-5ft, ease 2-4ft. Swells: NE-ENE 5-7ft, beginning to mix with long/low SE swells late.
Fri/06: Range ENE-E-ESE 10-18kt (variable wind direction at times): Waves 2-4ft, occ 5ft. Swells: Mixed NE-ENE & long SE-ESE 4-6ft. Sat/07: Veer ENE-ESE to SE 10-16kts thru the night. Winds may still be variable at times. Waves, 2-4ft. Swells mixed NE & SE 5-7ft.

We will continue to watch daily. Updating every 2-3 days, unless there are changes or otherwise advised. B/Rgds, Bob/OMNI

 

October 3, 2006

Position: N20 54.99 W20 18.01, Course 209 degrees, distance traveled 156.6nm, average speed 6.5 knots at 1350RPM, fuel burned 41.92 gal, fuel burn 1.74 GPH, 3.735 MPG, 8-9' swells NNE, apparent wind 17.7 NNE, 2302 nm to go, distance from Gibraltar 1289.8

Egret has had a great downhill run in 8-9' swells boosting our average speed and giving us our best daily run yet. The seas are now moving around a little off the port stern quarter giving us an occasional 'corkscrew twist'. Lets hope it doesn't keep clocking. This is where the electronic stabilizers really shine vs Egret's gyro triggered units. The electronic pulse is much faster than hydraulic so the fins have to move less to do the same job. On the corkscrew motions Egret's fins are hitting the stops in both directions occasionally. We have upgraded to the biggest useable pump ( flow - 7 GPM) but with all this weight and very low RPM not giving the actuators the flow they need it is a problem. If it really gets bad we can speed up giving more fluid flow to the actuators and more water over the keel and fins which should cure the problem. We have been banking fuel but this early in the trip I hate to break into our little reserve nest (anything better than 3 MPG is gravy.) Math: 2800 mile trip divided by 3 MPG = 933.33 gallons. Egret carries 1000 gallons in her tanks plus a conservative guess of 230 gallons in deck fuel. This said we don't know what contrary wind and currents we may run into along the way. We also have the option to reduce RPM even more near the equator where it is calm and bank more fuel. We'll see.

A little after daybreak we lowered the paravane arms only (no birds in the water) to give us a boost from the additional windage. True winds, not apparent (we don't have a gps hooked up to our anemonmeter) because they are almost from directly behind so guessable have been averaging between 25-30 knots. Later this afternoon we will transfer the 89.5 gal from the cockpit bladder into the port tank. All 46s with full fuel are heavy on the port side much less with the huge amount of food stores we have on that side. (New models don't have this issue.) With the NNE wind propping up the port side and predicted from the same direction for at least another 24 hours, it is a no brainer decision. The real biggie is if an emergency arose in the lazarette with 650+ lbs of fuel covering the hatch. We would have to slash the bladder to dump the fuel in a hurry. Sooooo, empty the bladder it is.

Last night was the moon lighting the ocean, dolphins on Mary's watch and kamakazi flying fish landing on deck during Steve's watch. Early on I rescued one and threw him back...hope it made it. Oh yes, we had a mechanical disaster last night. Steve's fan in his stateroom shed half its blade. It sounded like driving a car on square tires. Mary figured it out first and shut it off. (Steve was on watch) We put on our last spare blade this morning but still have a complete unit in spares.

Would you believe we are 195nm due west of Nouadhibou, Mauritania on Africa's west coast?

Mary is fixing lunch so the boys are happy. All is well with the Egret crew.


October 2, 2006

Today's report is much the same as yesterday. Dolphin kept Steve company on his night watch. We have a half moon illuminanating the ocean and dimming the millions of stars until very early in the AM. Only one ship passed all night (2nm distance on Mary's watch) All is well, ho hum. (Perhaps we should wait another 17 days to say ho hum.)

Position: N2312.54 W19 21.23, course 209 degrees, distance traveled 145.13nm, average speed 6.2 knots at 1350 RPM, fuel burned 41.87 gal, fuel burn 1.74 GPH, 3.466 MPG, 3' swells from E with long 4-5' swell from the NW, 6.9 knots apparent wind E, 2437.42nm to go. (1114 nm from Gibraltar) (Let's see, 3294.9nm at 294 degrees from Ft Lauderdale with only the Bahamas in the way........naaaa, bigger fish to fry.)

Speaking of fish, we saw a group of birds this morning just after daybreak so we dropped a worm in the water to see what bites. We'll see.

 

October 1, 2006 - Weather forecast

Weak high pressure ridging lays SSW across the Canary Islands toward 22N 18W, which is producing locally variable winds. The ridge should persist today, which could keep the winds more variable, tending more ENE-ESE at times.  Latest satellite imagery indicates clear skies from the Canary Islands to the Cape Verde Islands. There are no disturbances moving off the W/Africa coast and the Equatorial trough is further south now with some showers/thunderstorms within 180nm of the trough axis at 07N-08N.  Low pressure developing along a cold front to the north/west will continue thru today and Monday. As it does, a more WNW-NNW swells pattern is expected to develop. The swells could mix with lingering, subsiding northerly swells thru Monday. A tightening thermal trough pattern over western Africa,  building high pressure over the eastern Atlantic and the weakening low center will result in fresh NE winds by late Monday and continuing thru Thur. Easier wind/seas tend to develop nearing south/10N lat.
 
Along your intended route, expect:
 
Sun/01: N-NNE 05-10kt to ENE-Variable at times. Waves 2-3ft.  Swells become NNW & WNW 7-9ft through the day. Some secondary lower ENE swells may linger this morning.

Mon/02: NE-ENE 07-15kts, waves 3-4ft. Swells: WNW & NNW 7-9ft. Winds
freshen NE-NNE 12-20kt, waves 4-6ft late in the day. ENE-NE swells building 3-5ft by pm/hrs.

Tue/03: NE-NNE 15-22kt, WNW-NW swells subsiding 3-5ft while NNE-NE sea/swells 5-8ft thru day.

Wed/04: Mostly NNE-NE 17-22kts, NNE-NE 6-8ft with low NW swells.

Thur/05:  NE-NNE 17-25kt, gusty at times. NNE-NE 7-9ft. Winds tend to ease/back NNE-NNW 12-18kts NNE 6-8ft toward Thur/night.
 
We will continue to watch and update later today or Mon by 1200GMT if there are significant changes. Otherwise we will update every 2-3 days, unless otherwise advised. 

B/Rgds, Bob/OMNI

October 1, 2006

The past 26.25 hours since leaving La Gomera, Canary Islands have been outstanding. We have had mild seas with a high average speed considering our very heavy load this early in the trip. These calculations are based on 26.25 hours since departure on Saturday morning. The balance will be based on 24 hours, 1200-1200 GMT.

Our Flowscan fuel flow meter totalizer was 6% under from actual fuel taken aboard after the short run from Las Palmas to La Gomera. This was not a very accurate test as being that short of a run. On the long run from Gibraltar the totalizer was accurate however due to the low rpm on the short hop and being conservative in estimating we will add 6% to the Floscan total until we can prove differently with Egret's sight gauges.

Today's figures: Position N25 36.62 W 18 19.43, course 209 degrees, distance traveled 161.45nm, average speed 6.2 knots at 1350 RPM, fuel burned 45 gal (26.25 hours), fuel burn 1.71 GPH, 3.587 MPG, Three foot swell from the E (slightly forward of the port beam), 12.5 knots apparent wind. 2596.1nm to go. All systems are performing perfectly. The Egret crew is happy, rested and well fed.