We woke up in our soaking wet beds, apparently every window on board was leaking water. Danny shouted out “dolphins!”. We went out on the deck and cramped tightly to the railing to not fall overboard. A group of dolphins joined us for a bit, they were probably attracted by the sound of the engine though we had the engine on all night without sails. The dolphins were the highlight of this day, otherwise it was a rather mawkish day aboard on Ave Maria. We putted up a sail as a tiny triangle in the foresail, but otherwise the engine was roaring as usual. The ocean was still rowdy and the friends could only concentrate to look out over the horizon to not feel sick. But with the knowledge that after the second night we would arrive the famous San Blas Islands, it was ok.
We watched dollphins up at deck (There is a dolphin in the right corner)
No sails out
Later that night we found out that we were caught in a strong current that went against us during the mayor part of the time. The current had reduced the speed with three knots. It was hard to get out of it, we had to change course. This meant that we would not arrive until a day later than planned, ie early morning on day three. The new information was spread on board and put a worrisome face on every single passenger. One additional day with seasickness friends were perhaps not our biggest wish, but we just had to deal with it. There was only one thing to do – as we had done the past few days – and that was to sleep. That alcohol we would not be able to consume with these exhausted friends until we stood on steady ground.
The third day the wind had totally died, so we all could lie down on deck and sunbathe all day. We sailed nearly with full sails, but the engine also chugged on. All on board were starting to get used to the boat’s rolly rhythm by now, besides poor Megan who was still completely eliminated, and had not eaten for two days. Suddenly a rumor got spread aboard that perhaps we would arrive later that night. The friends cheered and toasted with a beer. This was very good news, and everyone was very keen on making a bonfire on the beach for the evening and be able to communicate with each other without a porridge in the mouth.
Leaving the bad weather behind
Danny is helping out with the steering and captain Paul is trying to sail. Christine is wondering what the fuck he is doing.
Sam, Christine and Danny
A smell of burnt rubbish began to take shape inside the saloon, and soon the whole cabin was filled with smoke. It came from the engine, and Paul ordered everyone to get out of the cabin because of poisonous air. At the same time Sindry was cooking food right next to it. Paul fixed the engine and we chugged on. It didn’t take long before it started to smoke again, and this time Paul looked a little bit more worried. He said that we should take a break, let the engine rest and that we could jump into the water. We had full sail, but by now there was no wind at all and the water was almost flat. We jumped into the sea, after a few days without a shower, we needed to rinse us off, even though it was salt water. However, we realized it was a pretty stupid idea, because it was extremely countercurrent and if the wind would had picked up, we had remained there in the sea without being able to swim back. We floated back to dinghy and saved ourselves in it.
The sun just went down, it was beautiful and the friends were fairly satisfied, they could for the first time since they left Colombia glimpse land far away in the horizon. That bonpfire was only four hours away. We celebrated with some beers and drinking games up on deck, but it soon became pitch black and the sea began to get the boat in motion again. It did not feel safe to sit on the deck intoxicated, without life jackets on an open sea with a captain who probably could not handle a man overboard maneuver. We went back into the boat instead. Paul, however, was not happy because then we lit the lights inside the boat, and because of that he said he could not see where he was going.
Four hours on the ocean can also mean a hell lot of more hours. It didn’t go very well for Paul and that engine, from then we just had to rely on the sails to get us moving. We had to put the bonfire plans into the bin, instead the friends went to bed for the third night. We fell asleep to the gurgling sound from the water against the hull and the flapping sail that could not catch any wind.