Highlights of our South Atlantic Crossing

Once again, we interrupt our regularly scheduled French Guiana blog posts to interject some highlights of our South Atlantic Crossing. I always take photos en route and Gentry suggested we also do some short video clips of day-to-day life aboard while on passage. Highlights included our week's stay at St. Helena Island, touring the island, meeting up with old friends and being coerced by the Captain into climbing the 699 steps of Jacob's Ladder.


jacobsladder_looking down

We witnessed countless sunrises and sunsets and one green flash.

sunrises over the atlantic ocean

Crossing the Prime Meridian into the Western Hemisphere, and crossing the Equator back to the Northern Hemisphere were momentous occasions. And, of course, we can't forget all those flying fish in the scuppers and especially Bob the Stink's visit.

flying fish

We spent hours one night lying on the aft deck, munching popcorn and observing the super blood moon eclipse. The photos weren't great being as we were on a rocking boat and it was dark and all, but hey …

super blood moon eclipse

A brown noddy hitchhiked a ride one night.

brown noddy hitches a ride

It's hard to explain what everyday life aboard is like. With that in mind, David compiled a short video to give you an idea of how we spent our time at sea. Hope you enjoy it.

Tales of a Flying Fish

We'd like to interrupt the French Guiana blogs to provide you with a little insight into fascinating little critters that we saw quite frequently during our recent South Atlantic passage. We're always intrigued by flying fish. On long, oceanic passages, we regularly find them in our scuppers. I've even found one in my lap on an occasion or two. flying fish in the scupper

They're incredible little creatures with gossamer wings for fins, adapted brilliantly by Mother Nature to bolt out of the ocean and glide for long distances to confuse and avoid their predators. Unfortunately, it is the flying and gliding during the night as Nine of Cups sails by, that results in their being caught high and dry in the scuppers. We've had as many as 20+ in one night or, on this last South Atlantic crossing, a total of 27 for the passage. Yes, we've tried eating them. Many people do, but it must be an acquired taste. In fact, in Barbados, where the flying fish is a national symbol, they're considered quite a delicacy. Just not our cup of tea, I guess.

flying fish

Considering the length of our passage, we had plenty of time on our hands and thought you might enjoy meeting a flying fish, up close and personal. Take a look.

It turns out that lots of people have crossed the Atlantic Ocean. 

Click on the monkey's fist to read other bloggers on this topic.

The Monkey's Fist


Arrival at Ile St. Joseph

shiptrak 104

Iles du Salut, French Guiana

We motored all the way to the anchorage. We saw the loom of Cayenne to port and then Kourou, hazy glows on the horizon. Les Iles du Salut, the Salvation Islands, lie about 8nm off the mainland. We saw the Ile Royale Light from 15 nm out, blinking twice every 10 seconds, a beacon on a very dark night. The moon would not rise till near midnight and the islands appeared as big mounds, just a bit darker than the night itself. An unlit fishing boat came too close for comfort, appearing out of nowhere and only then turning on his lights. Yikes!

Entering an unknown anchorage at night is not usually prudent, however this was a wide open area with no hazards other than the islands themselves. We anchored blindly...there were no other boats and no light other than the sweep of the lighthouse. The chart noted several commercial moorings close to shore, so we hung back a bit and found good holding in about 35' (10m). We'd re-anchor as necessary in the morning when we could see what we were doing. We tidied up the lines, then exhausted, sat and relaxed in the cool midnight air. David had put rum and tonic in the fridge and we indulged in a cocktail. Easy drunks after a month without alcohol...one drink and we were ready for the sack.

A gentle pitch in response to a light swell on the bow and the lap of water against the hull lulled us into broken sleep... who's on watch?