Big Fish Little Fish: Leander Atlantic Crossing Day 18

Leander is at 18.5 N, 58.5, sailing at 6 knots on a course of 251 magnetic in 15 knots of wind.

The sailing is really, really pleasant. We have 15 knots coming from the ESE, and we are heading WSW. We couldn’t ask for much better conditions. It looks like it will hold up for the next 24 hours. That should be enough to get us most of the way home. With continued good fortune, we should be in to English Harbor in Antigua sometime after nightfall tomorrow, 6 April.

We hadn’t had much luck with the fishing lures that we are trailing behind the boat, and after 17 days had caught zero fish. We blamed it all on the turbulent waters, and not on our skills . . . . So our good friend Gus Wilson pointed us to another place we could find fish. “All that Sargassum weed flowing by the boat — it’s teeming with life,” he told us. “Scoop some up and show the kids. If you’re lucky, you might even find a Sargassum fish or two.” So try that we did. We grabbed some handfuls of the weed as it floated by, put it in a bucket of sea water, and looked to see what we could tease out. Lo and behold — miniature shrimp! — some no bigger than the head of a pin. That was great fun, and we began thinking about whether we might have set the record for smallest fish ever pulled aboard during a crossing.

But perhaps upon seeing that we did, indeed, have fish-catching skills, two good sized jacks promptly attached themselves to our lures, and we hauled them in too. We caught them within 15 minutes of each other. We cut them up in front of the kids. Aylin was a bit squeamish (he’s going to try to bite me!), but Alexander had great interest in seeing the fish being take apart. Of course, neither child has any interest in eating them. Sima and I will split one of them for dinner tonight.

Remarkably, Sima has provisioned and cared for the fruits and vegetables such that, after two and half weeks at sea, we are still having apples and oranges for breakfast and peas and carrots for dinner.

We sailed 158 nautical miles during the last 24 hours, for a total of 2,838 done, and 223 to go.

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