Aurora passed to the east of Dassen Island at 1600, large waves pounding it's southern shore and wrecks littering the north. A reminder of the potential dangers of the voyage. The crew are in safe hands however, with the highly experienced Skipper, Nick Leggatt and first mate, Nick Moss who have both spent years sailing this dramatic coastline. We spent the afternoon teaching the crew about the various workings of our yacht “Aurora”, understanding its rigging setup, and encouraging each crew member to take turns at the helm so they get comfortable on board the vessel that will be their home for the next five weeks or so.
A large humpback breached close to port at dusk. Pre-moonrise, the milky way appeared as a spectacle above while two neon torpedoes danced around Aurora’s hull; dolphins shooting through the bio-luminance which lit up the crests of the surrounding waves and left a glowing wake behind.
The night was the start of the watch system, four hours on, four hours off with two, two-hour shifts around midday to stagger it. This will take some time to get used to and the eager, yet bleary eyed 0600-1000 crew will testify to this but spirits are high and everyone is looking forward to the adventure ahead.
Mid-morning, the fishing lines hit gold. Two 10-12kg Big-eyed tuna came aboard and were gutted and filleted on deck. This brought flocks of sea birds too. Shy, Black-browed and Yellow-nosed Albatros, White-chinned, Speckled and Wilson Storm Petrel's and Great-Shear water's, who fought and enjoyed the scraps of our prize. Fresh fish for dinner for all of us!
All in all a very eventful start to the adventure…