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Sails, Whales and the Leeward Rail

Oct 24, 2012

Location: Underway to Essaouira, in the Straights of Gibraltar
Author: Graham Pough
I guess you could say my day as skipper started at 1am when I was wide awake on dock watch duty serving as the last line of defense against Gibraltaran hooligans. The night was quiet but my mind was alive with thoughts of the day in front of me. We were to be sailing through the straights of Gibraltar and then begin our journey down the west African coast towards Essaouira. I put my mind on other things however and was able to get some sleep in before breakfast. The breakfast this morning was of the English variety; fried eggs, sausage, bacon, beans all served up by our fearless captain and his noble crew of sous chefs. After that began the most intense passage prep to date, with heavy wind and large swells on the forecast we were doing anything we could to ensure minimal issues. Once that was done with we hit the high seas, and by high seas I mean 12 foot swells and 30 knots of breeze facing directly in front of us. I quickly realized how much I was going to regret that English breakfast. I soon found myself on the leeward rail, sharing the delicious eggs with the fish below me. It was at this moment that I heard my dads voice in my head, asking me if I had gotten any on myself. There was a break in the action when I saw tuna jumping in the distance, and soon after that a sunfish right below me, and immediately following that a large pod of dolphins swimming with the boat. We slid into the watch team routine after that, which was exciting because we made new teams in Gibraltar. We had a beautiful roast for dinner, and continued to be hammered by waves and wind through the night. It is going to be a long trip to Morocco with no signs of easier conditions on the horizon. setdate:2012-10-24