Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

Thursday November 30th

Still not a lot of wind... Everyone tried hard to keep Hatha Maris moving,

with (no) wind around 3 to 4 kts. Sometimes we even went backwards :-0 !!

Early this morning Sammi, Francesca and Lyss saw a whale and later a

turtle! At 6 am, when the watch from Thalita and myself started, the wind

was coming back a bit and we had the best thing for a good start of the day

– dolphins! At least 20! For me it was the first time (nearly everything

that happens during this trip is the first time for me...) to see them

playing so close to the bow! So great! And with this beautiful start we

then enjoyed a great day with steady wind, sun and many happy people. Sam

feels much better now (she is been quite seasick lately) and we are more

and more into the onboard life. Dancing, singing, laughing…. and sailing of


Francesca and Sam are now getting ready for their watch – time to go to

sleep and get ready for the night. Still not my favourite watch. Good

night. Nicole.

Friday, December 1st 2017

Close encounters of the spanish kind

At change of watch last night a huge light was noticed tucked under the

jib. Look once, look away. Look twice, look away. Look 3 times, and its

definitely not an optical illusion. IT IS another vessel! the AIS showed

not a light house but a 50 metre boat with “moored” as its status while

doing 8-9 knots straight at us. Hailed them on VHF channel 16, nothing.

Dial MMSI, still nothing. Alienic light getting closer, we shine the

searchlight on our sails to make ourselves more visible. After 10 minutes

of watching the “strobe” light as Francesca called it, the alien answered

in Spanish, sounding shocked at encountering our little 12m boat in the

middle of nowhere. Lyss got them to change course and the excitement was

over. Made for a quick watch though… Sammi

Saturday December 2nd, 2017

It is fantastic being the skipper of the boat… you might think it means you

get coffee in bed and tell people what to do, but no, it basically means

that even when we are becalmed I don’t sunbathe, sleep, eat snacks, relax,

or read like everyone else… unless it is instructions manual. At this

point I have had the opportunity to fix a bit of everything, from small

gluing jobs to replacing the pin holding the vang to the boom which had

severed (!), sawing off a piece of a batten of the mainsail, whipping

lines, sewing a new bolt rope tape onto the genoa, replacing a piece of

chain on the forward stay with dyneema (really proud of my splicing that


Also, I have now developed a much more intimate relationship with Brian and

Kurt: Kurt has been behaving as of late and is not too jealous, but Brian

keeps acting up, gifting us with water and fiberglass sawdust so that I

have to hang out with him a few times a day. No we don't have men onboard

and no, we are not losing our mind (yet)...Brian and Kurt are the names we

have given to our bilges. Much easier than saying 'the bilge forward of the

sink to starboard..' More names to come in the next episodes for sure!

The current challenge at the moment is managing our power as we have

something that is draining the batteries more than is logical. Solar

panels are working, but yesterday our course had them both in the shade

most of the time, making for fun amperage consumption calculations.

And finally our main issue so far has been solved: yesterday was the first

day that our satellite phone actually enabled us to get updated weather

information, and transmit files since we left, hence the three days blog.

Thank you Franco and Brook on the home team helping with that! Weather

routing using the clouds or via satellite sms doesn’t make us very


Oh and yes, I admit I did get to go SWIMMING while we were becalmed. It was

absolutely beautiful! Always good to know you can breaststroke faster than

your own boat. Ok, while I was at it I did a hull check and made sure that

the log still worked as we were getting 0.00kn of boat speed for over two

hours… but more on that later.