Odyssey Logs

Day 9 of the Atlantic Odyssey


Atlantic crossing – week one

Nov 24
A little too much excitement.
At around 0200 with rising winds we decided we needed to drop the parasailor. Wind was a steady 25K gusting to 30K and the squalls weren’t showing any sign of letting up. Add to that some unpredictable surfing at 12K and the autopilot fighting hard to keep us on course, so Aviad and I prepared to drop it. It was a difficult drop, partly because I neglected to release the lazy sheet so there was a bit of tension on the sail keeping it filled. Jen heard me yelling above the wind to Aviad and came to assist us and we managed to recover it unharmed. The parasailor was flapping around like a cut pig; as Aviad and I finally wrestled it on deck and into it’s bag Jen said the plotter was showing 38K…ouch!
The cooler damp night air has about 30% more power than the daytime air due to the added density. We really feel the difference as Sephina is comfortably cruising at 7-8K in a daytime 20K, but easily adds 2K boat speed in the denser night time 20K winds.
After that we toddled along under jib only at 5-6K for the rest of the night and re raised the parasailor in the morning to have a nice sail all day averaging 6.5K
Tonight we will probably drop the parasailor before the evening winds get too strong and relax again with just the jib overnight. It looks wet and squally ahead and it’s easier on everyone to keep watch as well as sleep if speeds are lower and just the jib to take care of…
Read more here.


From Antonio:

We made good speed during the night with gennaker and a little mainsail. The wind still had a lot of North in it but this morning it did swing enough to the east and voila up went the Parasailor. And I have to say a very sleek manoeuvre by Christian and Connor forward and myself at the winches. 140 squares meters in 25 knots true wind is pretty good. The Parasailor is a hybrid between a spinnaker and a kite, if you are curious about it, go to their website. It is a very cool sail, with an opening in the centre that stabilises the sail and gives a good lift up to the bows.
We have been running under it for all day. The wind is stable in direction but varies in speed. We keep the spi pretty high in the air to depower it. It is not perfect but safe in the blows.

And two mahi mahi in the oven today!! They are not too big and dinner will be a treat! Probably we will cook cabbage and have some fresh tomatoes.

Sailing the trade wind in a cat is a novelty and is pretty good. NO ROLLING! The waves are about 3 meters and the only thing we do is accelerate on them instead of rolling on top of them. That makes life easier Anyhow I still ask every manoeuvre be done with life jackets and the same to go to play on deck. We are doing 7 knots solid, sometimes more in 20 knots up. On the boat we have a relative wind of only 12 knots but if I had to turn the boat, we would be in a half a gale. And the spinnaker does not come down in 2 minutes, so good lookout by the crew constantly.
But what a ride!
The days go fast,baking in the morning goes furious, I look at the gas bottles in silence….
Thank you Christian, for your ability to fish and clean the fish is top order.
Now is half past five and the sun goes down fast here in 19 degrees North, so we go to prepare the boat for the night soon.

From Connor and Anita, Tosca and Indra:

Already 9 days at sea! So far, it has gone much more quickly then we expected, as there always seems to be something to do, or see.

Tosca and Indra have been baking almost every morning, coming out with brownies, banana bread, lemon cupcakes, lemon cake, banana cake, and cooking has been on full throttle, as we want to eat as much of the fresh vegetables and fruit as we can! A washing line has been hung over the cockpit, and we have feasted twice on beautiful MahiMahi fish.
Yesterday, we almost caught something bigger… a huge shadow was following the lure, but I think it discovered that the pink plastic squid was not in fact, a squid. Thank goodness it didn’t grab onto it, or we would no longer have a fishing line!

We’ve had 3 flying fish land on deck (all only discovered the following day, so they were horribly dried up), and we have sighted two turtles. We never see turtles in New Zealand, so it was so amazing seeing those beautiful animals up close!

We have heard from “Song Of the Sea” that they saw a turtle tangled in netting. That was very sad to learn, when you think of how many other turtles there must be in the ocean affected by human waste. Thankfully the guys decided to stop and untangle it and the turtles we have seen looked healthy, one we think very old as it had barnacles growing over its shell.

Sea Dragon

Flying fish, manta trawls, and gender balance

The sun was shining and Sea Dragon was sailing wing-on-wing. This diamond sail combination makes a beautiful sight against the cool blue sky. At 1pm sharp, it was time for our second manta trawl, which we accomplished smoothly in 1 hour 20 mins. Shanley assures us that this is a great time for our second attempt, and we are all pretty excited at the prospect of breaking some kind of record. We’re hoping to be down to 1 hour by the time we reach Martinique – let’s see if we’re up for the challenge!

Read more here.


Seven Seas Adventure

Tropical nuisances

We’re getting closer to the tropics with their warmth but nuisances as well.

First, the flying fish. Usually when the first flies through the air and lands on your deck, most people say cute little fish and throw it back into the water. But then when this happens tens of times and maybe one gets hit while at the helm they become a nuisance. I remember the blog a friend that crossed the pond recently and was amused to see the change in the tone of the posts from amusement to despair regarding the flying fish. And they also stink 🙂

The second a bit more serious: the tropical squalls. Not sure about the proper wording but they are some sort of mini storms when the wind goes up 50-100% and changes direction by even 50 degrees (which both are a lot and you need to be prepared). The good part is that they are visible in the distance, a dark cloud that goes down into the sea. So we get a lot of rain too. They only last 30-40 minutes and then everything goes back to normal.

Speaking of which…we’re out of wind, crawling at 2-3 kn (when we should do at least 6-7 kn or 12-15 km/h). I’m not decided if to start the engine or just wait. We need to save the fuel for later if we need it (e.g. in case of a serious breakage in the sailing systems).

We also had our share of accidents. Today the boiling coffee pot fell off (my mistake it should have been in the sink) and Alina got a small burn on her right hand. Nothing serious but we all know how annoying burns are…and I have to cook again 🙂


Papy Jovial

Nuit de crise

We got the wind smack in our rear and Firmin is having a hard time steering straight. At the change of watch, at midnight, we were hit by a squall with  heavy rain in it. Jean-Paul was not wearing his foul weather gear and got  drenched. We gybed as quick as we could since the wind had shifted to  South. At the end of my shift at 3 in the morning, same thing. Heavy rain and gybing. The wind was back to East hence again wind at the back which  implies that we are moving slowly and it is rather uncomfortable. We tried  the spinnaker, but another squall showed up and we took it down to avoid  taking undue risks.

For the day, we only covered 129 miles and closed on  the finish by 119miles. We are possibly losing ground on the others.  However, they probably have to face the same conditions.



Never thought I’d hate low pressures.

Okay, so every day since I started talking about winds and waves, we’ve been going through these mini storms. We’re not sure whether it’s squalls, low pressures or actual mini storms, but either way they’re super annoying and a little terrifying. In less than a minute the winds go from “I wish we had a bigger sail, we’re totally gonna be the last boat” to “oh my god what is that sound, is this dangerous, roll in the sails WAIT A MINUTE LOOK HOW FAST WE GO”. So then this goes on for around 10 minutes, usually with rain, and then all is back to normal.

We got pretty used to this by now, but this time the “back to normal wind” spiralled around from all directions, throwing the sail back and forth. Are we in the eye of a low pressure? I don’t know, but we’re motoring our way out of it the best we can.

Nothing to worry about though, we’re doing very fine.

Please stop those low pressures though.

Gazel Rebel

French Predator – Rapala ou cueillette
Après une nouvelle sortie du Rapala – leurre plongeant et coloré mais néanmoins solidement armé – nous avons du nous rabattre sur le don céleste nocturne ; je veux parler du poisson volant.
Évidemment c’est moins rentable que la coryphene en cuisine mais c’est gratuit.
Un morceau au citron et l’autre poêlé : c’était un grand moment gastronomique.
Probablement une petite journée au compteur aujourd’hui – une bonne densité de grains mais pas tous très productifs. Ça signifie :
– hésiter à sortir un spi ou un code 0 pour éviter les pièges
– prendre un ou deux ris pour deux rafales à 30 noeuds et hésiter à les larguer en attendant le grain suivant.
Autant dire que la nuit on n’hésite assez peu et qu’on laisse les deux ris du premier grain du soir.
C’est là qu’est le curseur de notre traversée !



French Arrêt à Mindelo La rupture de la drisse de spi nous oblige à effectuer un arrêt à Mindelo pour effectuer la réparation en tête de mât et changer la drisse. Nous serons à Mindelo demain matin en début de matinée. Arrêt prévu entre 24 et 36 heures.


After a short technical stop, Mandarina left Mindelo today at 17:00 UTC bound for Martinique.

French Après une courte escale technique, Mandarina a quitté Mindelo aujourd’hui à 17h TU, en direction de la Martinique.

Hapa Na Sasa

German Tweets:

– entdeckt, haben wir ihn jetzt diesen viel beschr Wind, von dem so viele sagen, Segel hochz u nichts tun bis man am anderen Ende ankommt

– fehlen dann noch mal zusaetzlich 1,5h Schlaf, schwacher Trost, dass es nachtr rel warm ist. Heute Mittag die ersten Passatwolken am Himmel

– 120grad aus dem Nichts, halsen, Zunahme von 10 auf 20kn binnen Minuten, was geht da? Natuerlich zu zweit an Deck, mitten in der Nacht, da

– Die Tour ist an sich schon ambitioniert u schon gar mit 3 kids, kann hier nicht jedes Detail schreiben, so wie gestern Nacht, Winddrehung



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