Finale

The end of my trip is near. I will make my last big sailing trip to Europe. It is a trip of more than 7000km. A huge trip. No steady trade winds, no internet, no land for weeks. In preparation it is business as usual. The only thing is I need more food. So I made an estimate, doubled that and the last week before sailing I started provisioning.

A thorough check on the boat, sails, etc. And a close look at the various winds on different days.

Most crossings are using some kind of trade wind. A steady wind, constant blowing from the same direction usually coming from the West worldwide. But this trip is in the opposite direction and for a long time. So I have to keep a course more North staying away from these trade winds.
Between the Caribbean and the Azores is a big area with no wind at all, called The Doldrums. North of that, the air is mostly blowing back to Europe from different directions. Close planning and every now and then a weather report is necessary.
But after numerous trips I feel quite comfortable with this boat and equipment.

So after all the preparations it was time to leave. I made a round trip through the bay to say goodbye to several friends. Especially Jeroen. He will be leaving for the Azores with a friend. They have a sophisticated satellite connection and he will give me every now and then a weather report to my more simple satellite device.

The first couple of days I encountered a fair wind heading for Bermuda. Half way I will be turning to the East. Fishing was not really an option while my lure caught the Sargasso seaweed all the time.
After a week or so the wind died out. It is a strange feeling laying still in the middle of the ocean knowing you still have 6000km ahead of you. Not knowing where to go in search for wind I send messages to several people, but all the answers where negative. Hmm, just have to wait.
A good time for fishing. And I caught my favorite. Only managed to catch a small one, but this was huge! A Mahi Mahi. Best taste you will ever find. A big problem is however, getting him inboard. They are known for their fighting skills. And he did. A hundred meters from the boat he jumped out of the water, went around the boat and even dove 200 meters deep! It took me over an hour to get him near the boat. Now I would like to use my hook, but when I grabbed it, it just fell apart. Rust.

So now there is only one option left. The net is not strong enough, I have to grab him by hand. I let him swim in circles behind the boat until he was really tired. I managed to put the net around his head and I could grab him by his tail.

A selfie with a 20kg fish in one hand is a bit of a challenge. . .
Look at the size of my feet!

This was the biggest fish I ever caught. Way too big for me. I took out the best part and left the rest for the sharks.