Monday, 24 November 2014

Atlantic crossing - Anchor down!

I know I was a little bit early yesterday, announcing the arrival of the SaltyPaws.

Not much later, at 10 PM European time they relayed their anchor position. It seems a very nice bay indeed on Martinique, in the lee of the easterly trade winds that took them there.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Atlantic crossing - Update 23 november: ARRIVED!!

I just received a phone call - from a mobile phone! The SaltyPaws had sailed into mobile phone range of Martinique. Only 16 NM to go to the bay where they will let down the anchor for the first time in 20 days. I'll jump the gun and call it "Atlantic crossing complete"!

Everyone was well, and some early comments included "Well, it was quite far" :)

See the usual maps below.

Oh, and, we clarified yesterday's mystery. The text message I received yesterday was send already two days ago! Because it arrived at the usual time I just expected it to be the daily update. So the SaltyPaws sent out 2 updates on the 21st, and none on the 22nd; of which the second one arrived almost exactly 24 hours too late. A strange coincidence! I must then have mixed up the times even further with other messages when I said it was 20 hours apart, because from these two texts below it is easy to see they were only 2 hours and 6 minutes apart. Things are always so clear in hindsight...

Received yesterday (22 Nov): 
Lat+15.807416 Lon-055.687150 Alt -3 m (Fix age > 0 hrs) 21-Nov-2014 14:22:05 UTC
Received two days ago (21 Nov): 
Lat+15.871200 Lon-055.467716 Alt -3 m (0s ago) 21-Nov-2014 12:06:34 UTC


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Training for the SaltyPaws Sailing Session

In Preparation to our trip, Elizabeth and I did the following courses:
RYA Dayskipper
MCA STCW Personal Survival Techniques
MCA STCW Elementary First Aid
RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety Course

MCA STCW Personal Survival Techniques
MCA STCW Elementary First Aid
RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety Course
MCA STCW Proficiency In Medical First Aid On Board Ship
MCA STCW Proficiency In Medical Care On Board Ship

Atlantic crossing - Update 22 november

A strange update today: The new position circle is almost completely overlapping yesterday's; only 11 NM of progress made. 

What's going on?

For one, today's update was earlier than normal, so it has not been a full 24 hours. But is has been 20 hours, so that still doesn't explain the low mileage in full.

Maybe the wind had died down? If I remember the SaltyPaws' range on diesel is around 350 Nautical Miles - on a full tank (actually, 2 full tanks but it's just an expression). So, depending on the amount of fuel they've already used, they may not be in motoring range yet with 318 NM to go. I've checked the weather the wind seems good. On the map below, the arrow indicates direction and the 2 full lines on the 'wind barb' mean 20 knots of wind: Beaufort 5!

Maybe the position relayed to me was wrong/outdated/from yesterday? Or maybe they like it so much they don't want to make landfall? :)

All I know is --- we'll have to wait a few days to find out!


The wind map for the Carribean. The outline of the USA and the carribean islands are on the map. The 'wind barbs' show direction and speed of the wind. The SaltyPaws is is somewhere in the bottom right corner (not indicated).

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Alarm Clock of the Ocean

It is 01:56 in the morning, and I am on watch. Tonight it is particularly dark, due to a light cloud cover, and no moon. Elizabeth's watch is starting at 02:00, so when I hear a shrill and repeating bleep bleep I think that she has set an alarm clock. How thoughtful. Tuxington is very interested in the sound, and we investigate where it comes from. It is not an alarm clock, and it is also not me playing games on my Nexus, as supposed by Elizabeth. Going down into the port hull, where the source of the sound is, Tux and I come up empty.

We continue our investigation outside. Now, in addition to the sound in the water, I can hear many dolphins breathing. We continue to hear the dolphins for 15 minutes, however, we never go to see them. The breathing sounds very powerful, but it is relaxing at the same time. If your “normal” dolphin sounds like a mini car when breathing, these sound like heavy trucks. From the heavy breathing, most likely it would be Orcas or Long Finned Pilot whales. Both are active in the Gibraltar area.

 I can make out at least three different breathing sounds. However, I can't tell whether they are a family of 3, or a huge pack. I hope we get to encounter more of the troop during daylight. We tend to think of dolphins as creatures of the day, but they are also creatures of the night. They still have the sonar working for them, and while they can see us, we cant see them at night.

Picture of the three unidentified whales, in the middle of the night on a cloudy sky, without moon.

Atlantic crossing - update 21 november

Another day, another map update! :) I've also included the big map with the daily distances. Note that the total distance has reduced from 2590 to 2548 with the new destination... 331 NM left! This means they probably arrive in the late afternoon on Sunday. This would be early morning of Monday in Europe.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Atlantic crossing - Update 20 november

SV SaltyPaws covered 320NM in the past 48 hours. The confirmed destination is Martinique, which is updated on the map below. 442NM to go!