Day12 Miles run last 24 hours: 136
Miles to go: 345
Only a short distance to go. We should arrive in Rodrigues in 2-3 days. We're certainly ready for it. I've been reviewing our notes for check-in procedures and David's reviewed the entrance through the reefs. Our travel guide has several dog-eared pages with lots of highlighted things to see and do.
David was able, as always, to jury-rig a fix for the wind gen tail and it's back to cranking out amps for us. Watching him balance himself while standing on top of the stern rail, tools in hand, while the boat is rocking and rolling is always a fascination to me. Makes me want to review my man overboard procedures.
Another beautiful, albeit cool, bright sunshine day. Blue sky, blue sea, 12-15 knot winds and we're sitting in the cockpit enjoying it all. Makes us almost forget the recent crappy passage days.
Lots of reading on this passage. We're both into the Jack Reacher thriller series by Lee Child...mostly because those are what were loaded on our iPads. Good page burners!
We've also finished the edits and formatting (mostly David's doing) for my new book Days and Ways to Celebrate 2015. Should be ready to release by the time we get to Mauritius.
One, very stiff, smelly flying fish on deck.
Day13 Miles run last 24 hours: 147
Miles to go: 198
We're whittling down the miles now, getting close to Rodrigues, making a final sprint. Neither of us slept during off-watch due to choppy seas at an odd angle to the boat that kept us rolling and wallowing, gunwale to gunwale, for most of the night. The rolling action is not conducive to sleep nor comfort in any way. It had calmed a bit by morning and we've both enjoyed refreshing naps.
There's been lots of ship traffic the last 36 hours or so. We hadn't seen a ship in several days and now there have been 5 heading east and 3 heading west. We talk to some on the radio, depending how close they are. All those hailed have answered promptly. The Golden Bell came a bit too close for comfort and having learned a lesson just a couple of weeks ago, we took evasive measures early on and they still came within 0.5nm of us. Thanks, Neptune, for taking care of us.
It looks as if our final run will have us arriving during the night unfortunately. Rodrigues has a large outer harbor with a well-marked entrance through the reefs, and an inner harbor where we'll eventually clear-in and anchor. Notes from other cruisers indicate that it is prudent to wait until daylight before proceeding to the inner harbor. I guess we'll figure it out when we get there.
No critters of any kind on deck today.
Day14 Miles run last 24 hours: 139
Miles to go: 59
David caught a fish today .... a beautiful dorado! Our first fish on this passage and we were excited as he reeled it in. She was brilliant yellow and blue, fighting hard and shimmering metallic colors in the waves as she was hauled closer and closer to the boat. She was the perfect size ... 3 - 4 dinners worth, but looking at how beautiful she was, we had misgivings about cutting her up into filets. We watched as her colors quickly faded away and she died. It's not sentimental. We've caught and eaten many fish along the way. For some reason, it seemed sad this time, watching a living thing die at our hand. Blood and guts all over the side deck. Catch and release has its merits, but we don't fish for sport.
The chart plotter is displaying our ETA in hours and minutes now, instead of weeks and days. Shipping traffic has increased significantly with at least one ship on the AIS every watch. We'll be glad to sleep together in our own bed soon, no night watch, no ships to worry about.
Unlike the Cocos which are low-lying coral islands, Rodrigues is volcanic and rises about 1,300' ( ~400m)out of the sea. We could see it from 35 miles out ... a hazy hump on the horizon, poking out of the ocean. In fact, Rodrigues sits on a triple tectonic plate which would seem to make it vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis , but we've never heard that it's a problem there.
Predictably, Neptune is aware that we're anxious to get in, so he's calmed the winds and seas. a Hence, we're dawdling along in the 4s on a beautiful, sunny day, anticipating an after dark arrival. We talked about churning out the miles with the engine to make it in before dark, but then thought "Why? It's a gorgeous sailing day and turning on the engine would just be a waste of fuel and money....not mention noisy and smelly." We'll sail till dark, and then, heave-to till morning. We'll complete the final miles tomorrow and enter Rodrigues in the light of day.