Over the next couple of weeks, the story of Starlight's Atlantic Crossing will be uploaded. We'll do it a few days at a time to make sure we don't clog your feed with the epic content. In true @thewetwayhome fashion, expect the uploads to be sporadic, so keep checking the page to make sure you don't miss anything.
Monday March 6 - Cape Verde, Departure.
After final provisions arrived on board, the tanks topped up with diesel and our passports stamped, we were ready for departure. Or were we.. for some reason, we weren't in a hurry to get off the dock. There was a sense of complacency in the air, we weren't worried or anything like that, but I guess the enormity of what we were about to do had just landed on everyone’s shoulders, because finally, it was time to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
We took one last pic for the Instagram page and finally cast off the lines. We had just embarked on the longest ocean crossing any of the crew had ever been apart of.
Toothy saved a week of “passage weather” forecasts to his iPhone, so hopefully this stays true as the forecast is looking good as far ahead as the forecast could see. He just earned the title of ‘head of weather’.
“We’re on!” screamed Brio. Less than an hour into the trip, the trawling line went off its nuts and the ‘head of fishing’ (Brio) sprung into action. This fish seemed like one of the larger ones that we’d hooked as even Brio started to tire from the action. However it was not to be, this fish (it looked like a Mackerel) shook the hook just before we could reach him with the gaff hook. Brio was a little deflated, yet still positive… The fish were biting.
The first meal of the trip was immense. Brio bought some fish at the local market that morning, so we cooked that up with a side sautéed chicken legs and a potato salad which had all the trimmings.
Shortly after the meal, Starlight popped her head out into the Atlantic Ocean from the protection of the Cape Verde islands. The swell was up and directly on the beam. Within a few minutes, Mikes’ dinner came back up and Brio followed suit shortly after.
Tuesday March 7 - Day 2
‘What are you up to there fella?” I enquired. “Practicing my standing up” Mike replied. I joined Mike in the early hours of the morning to find him struggling to stand up with the heavy swell. At least he had graduated from loosing his lunch and being stuck in the horizontal position.
After a rocky first night, we all met on deck the following morning to set the sails in the hope that, with the sails up, it might steady the rocking. We set up the two head sails along with the mizzen. Shortly after they were set, Mike lost his lunch again, guess the sails didn't help much with the rocking…
That afternoon, Mick thought it’d be a good idea to send the Drone up for its first flight at sea. The Drone was a brand new DJI Phantom that Mike had bought with him from Australia after Mick had had numerous issues with the 3DR Drone. The take off went off without a hitch. After circling Starlight a couple of times, the controller said the SD card was full, time for the Drone to land… Land the Drone on this rocky boat… Mick tried to hover the Drone close enough to the boat for one of us to grab it yet had to stay clear of the sails and rigging. A tough task. After what seemed like 5 mins, and a few close calls with the deep blue, the Drone had not yet landed, so Brio grabbed the boat hook and hooked the leg of the Drone. He pulled it back on board, only to get it tangled in the boat hook. Pieces of Drone shot off in all directions. Mick went in for the grab only to be attacked by the out of control propellers. Finally, it seemed Mick had a grasp on it as I came in to lend a hand with the aggressive little flying camera. Once it was finally shut off, we realised, the Drone was done. A broken leg, wires hanging out of it, broken propellers… Expletives flew from the lads lips… This meant no footage from the air for the whole Atlantic Crossing. Heavy. The mood in the wheelhouse was as if someone had just died…
With the crew’s spirit’s at an immense low point, we needed to break the funk. Thankfully, this came in the way of a 7kg Wahoo. Putting up the biggest fight of the trip so far, Brio, with the help ofToothy on the gaff, landed dinner. The head of fishing was wrapped. “Here we go lads, I knew it wouldn’t take long” Brio said. A fish like this would feed 5 men for 2 days or more.
After carefully filleting the wahoo, Toothy served up wahoo sashimi and, my lord, was it tasty. A bit of soy, wasabi and garlic, and Bob’s your uncle. But that was just a starter. We grilled 10 wahoo steaks on the Magma and ate it with Toothy’s special rice until we were wahoo drunk.
Wednesday March 8 - Day 3
The sea’s had finally calmed and the crew woke well rested today. The wind was still steady on the Starboard quarter and we were sailing around 4.5kts. Easy. Peaceful.
With no need to alter the sail arrangement today, I did my washing… By hand. Who cares you say? Well, its little things like this that keep you busy throughout the day. I even washed my sheets with a little fabric softener. A real treat.
Following the washing, it was time for something a little more active. Toothy suggested we get out the boxing gloves and pads. So we punched the shit out of the pads for a while, smashed out a few push ups, dips and chin ups, and had a good old fashion sweat out. Boxing is a real challenge on Starlight, its really easy to loose your footing, but I guess that makes it even more interesting. We followed up the workout with a protein shake and, as you do, told each other how ripped we were going to be when we finally arrived to Barbados.
Mick tried his hand at fixing the Drone, however, you know this was always going to lead to frustration. With no manual, no internet and certainly lacking the fine electrical tools for the job, not even “Spielberg” could pull this one off, surely.
Lunch was something else, we ate Toothy’s wahoo Ceviche. The ingredients are a secret, so lets just say it was unreal.
With dinner coming out shortly after, I bet you can’t guess what we had… Wahoo.
With the crew enjoying the calm weather, I hit Toothy up for his not so relevant weather forecast… “How’s the weather looking Toothy?” I asked. “Sweet” he said “it swings a bit North on the 10th for a day or two, but nothing too heavy”. “Mmm, interesting”, I said, “sounds delightful”.