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Sailing To St Helena – St Valentine’s Day Antics

When on an offshore passage, the first night shift is usually the hardest. You have to adjust to a new rhythm and get used to being up at all different times of night to normal.

Our night shift patterns on Tourterelles are very civilised, especially as we are sharing them per couple. So, on this leg to St Helena, Ferg and I are doing the sunset shift of 8pm to 2am and Ian and Ann have the sunrise shift from 2am to 8am. Within the six-hour shifts we can mix it around a little and one of us can snooze while the other is on full watch. As long as someone is monitoring the helm and sails while looking out for other vessels that could come across our path, all is good.

So with the first night done and dusted, we woke up on Valentine’s Day, not to the expected blue skies and sunshine, but sadly dark clouds and it being rather damp – and cold.

It was the sort of day when liveaboard cruisers would get together for a game of Mexican Train (a dominoes-based game) – so in the 2.5 metre-high seas we’re sailing in, we settled in to a tumbly game! Except, I have to add – for those who would question was rum involved – the refreshments during this game were just coffee and muffins! We’re a dry boat when sailing offshore.

With a request put in for fresh tuna for our Valentine’s dinner, the boys set about putting the lines out. Early in the afternoon, we were rewarded by catching a little Mahi Mahi – the first fish caught on this boat and a perfect starter size for four tonight.

However, this fishy tale it didn’t end there…while Ferg and I were on our afternoon siesta (and when someone is off-watch, it’s a notorious time for catching fish), Ian reeled in a 3ft tuna. Oh we are going to eat well tonight!

Total miles sailed in 24 hours: 143

Total miles to go to St Helena: 1,557

Date: 14 February 2023

© Two Drifters Travel

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