Powering South past Cape Verde Islands, I have yet to hit the Doldrums, though by each degree south its getting warmer - moviing towards the Equator - and the winds are getting lighter. Happily I am also now becoming at one with the boat, sailing better, less on edge - the clutter of preparations are gone - and several small problems on board have been solved. Our team did an excellent job in preparations.
Around 0400 hrs I got a small shock. I was napping and was awoken by a series of muffled bangs on the port side. I quickly hopped up in the cockpit to investigate.
Happily I can sleep in the constant noise, regardless, as this machine trundles along. However you develop an extra sense that has become attuned to the movement and noises of the boat - all normal sounds - you sleep and when something different - you're up.... That said, the unusuall bullet like noise did not repeat itself, I found nothing and went back to sleep, wondering.
It was later that morning, as the mid-day sun gets hotter, I picked up a funny smell which led me to discover several dead flying fish cooking on deck. And this could only be the explaination for my early morning. A shoal of flying fish, had comitted a ' kamakazi' attack' on our ship, to no avail.
Close to The Cape Verde Islands it was a good day for wild life. I enjoyed the company of a school of dolphins for some time and talked with them. Especially when I went forward on the bow, they would gather closer. I would make a loud pitch whistle and they seemed to respond by jumping more frequenlly and more joined the fun - it was my lone primitive way of communicating with them, whether real or imagined.
Also it seems I have a fatal attraction to islands - shown some days back at the Canaries. Now, rather than go to the West of the Verdes, like most of the vessels, I decided to go through the islands. I counted nine.. They stretch 110 Miles East- West and about 100 North - South. But there was on in particular...
In a bizzare way, my routing software took me right throug the centre of longest and thinest island - named St Nicolau. With a choice to gype right or go more upwind left of the Lady, I went left - leaving St Nicolau on my right. In fact I always walk with my Lady Nicola on the right.. It was a good decision, we picked up some ' funnelled' wind through the passage and have now cleared the islands.