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16 March 2011

Survival of Wild Tigris' fittest

Survival is the name of the game on the High Seas.  As we crossed the Equator and into the doldrums, Dave was offered up to appease Neptune, forced to drink his blood, and to ease his hunger, the captain and crew made Equator pancakes on top of his head, where the pancakes cooked just right under the brutal sun.  As the wind picked up as we headed north, we have now been stuck on a beam reach for days on end.  Portions of ham and egg quiche were rationed out at lunch time.  After a brief stop at Devil’s Island near French Guiana, the crew has become concerned with an outbreak of yellow fever and we are forced to drink rum and tonic at sunset, for medicinal purposes.  Sean is dizzy with anticipation of some Guinness after a landfall on Trinidad for St Patrick’s Day, where our survival instincts are sure to kick in once again.  Love to my lovely daughters, Lauren and Bailey, and my wildly beautiful wife, Sharon.

-Dave for WT

9 40’ N

58 42’ W


15 March 2011

Blistering pace

The good breeze and associated boat speeds of yesterday evenings departure continued throughout the night and most of today. We averaged 10.9kts over ground for more than 15hrs but then slowed down a little this afternoon. We still managed to break the magic 250Nm mark with an official 24hr run of 251Nm.


The crew are currently celebrating with ‘Rum-dumbs’ on the aft deck, watching the sun sink below the horizon in an orange haze and eagerly anticipating Sofia’s famous Carbonara.



7 46’ N

55 54 W


14 March 2011


Wild Tigris cruised into the anchorage at Ile Royale yesterday evening at 7pm local time. We dropped the hook and sat down to a superb lamb roast prepared by our Swedish chef (herdy-gerdy-gerdy) and some nice Argentinean red wine.

Up at the crack of dawn and regretting the last glass of wine, we dropped the tender in the water and headed in to the once penal colony. There are three islands; Ile San Joseph, Ile Diablo and the largest Ile Royale. The first thing we saw at the top of the pier was a small marsupial that Sofia identified as a ‘Chicken-rabbit’. I had never heard of such an animal before but had to concede that it was aptly named.

We made our way up to the Governor’s house which has been turned into a museum of the islands history. The French government established the penal colony in 1854 and it ran officially until 1938 but the repatriation of prisoners was not completed until 1953. Living conditions were harsh verging on inhumane and thousands died over the years. Lack of space meant only guards were buried in graves, dead prisoners were thrown to the sharks.

We wondered around the island looking at the ruins of old cell blocks, a small chapel that’s still in good shape and various other old red-brick buildings. At noon we tried out the restaurant and a first time tasting of String-ray. Personally, I’d have much preferred Chicken-rabbit but it was not to be…


We are now reaching towards Trinidad’s NE point at 11.4kts with 530Nm to go..


5         48’ N

52      58’ W



13 March 2011

We got the one that got away!

Well, close enough! At 2.30pm today we landed an almost identical Wahoo to the one that slipped through our grasp yesterday. At four and a half feet long and approximately 60lbs, we have enough Wahoo fillets to keep us going until St. Lucia if not beyond. The first batch was devoured in a Thai Green curry tonight with no complaints!

The bigger lure combined with a stainless steel wire leader ensured no amount of chomping would allow this one escape. We used the boat-hook as our new gaff and our tried and trusted technique of hauling it in while still sailing at 6kts thus ensuring the fight was out of him by the time he landed on the aft deck.


Other than that, our day has basically been spent sailing (and now motor-sailing) through one huge, relentless rain cloud. I’m not sure whether the final DVD count was four, five or maybe even six movies!

120Nm to Islas Salut and fingers crossed for blue sky, sun and a NE breeze!



4         55’ N

50     38’ W



12 March 2011

No news is good news...

We’ve had a quiet day aboard Wild Tigris with not much to report other than good breeze, good company and good food.

We are currently gliding along at around eight knots with the beginnings of another dramatic sunset off to port and a huge cumulonimbus rain cloud that we’re doing our best to out-run to starboard.

There was definitely interest in our new jumbo fishing lure but no solid strikes to report.

Exactly 400Nm from Islas Salut, we plan a brief pit-stop to swim, explore and recharge before the 630Nm passage to Trinidad.

Cheers, SMC

3 10’ N

46 52 W


10 March 2011

Sea monster...

Approaching the halfway mark to Isla Salut, it’s strange to think that the mouth of the Amazon is just off our port bow (albeit by 345Nm!). We are too far out to see it’s silt-laden discharge but the pilot books explain how the N. Atlantic Equatorial current bends it NW along the coast. Maybe we’ll see evidence of this once we converge on the coast in a couple of days time.

Thankfully the breeze picked up last night around 11pm and we’ve been sailing with full main and gib since. This is a big relief as we weren’t able to refuel in Fortaleza…every drop remaining is liquid gold.


Our other drama today was almost landing a 70lb Wahoo! At around 11am local time, the rod whizzed into life and although we feathered up into the wind in an effort to slow down, I’m convinced that the monster Wahoo was already towing us backwards! After a 25min fight between man and beast, we got it to the transom and gaffed it. Apparently our gaff is only rated to 65lbs (or there-abouts) because it promptly tore in half. In the heat of the moment, I thought pulling it on deck the old fashioned way would do the trick. About 6inches from grabbing it behind the gills, the 280lb leader snapped, possibly due to earlier chomping from the monsters razor sharp teeth.

Seeing the Wahoo exhausted and floating stunned on the surface, we spun the boat around and as I was grabbing the boat-hook from the laz, saw a black shadow of something that made our monster look like a minnow…we assume that whatever it was swallowed our prize whole before we even got turned.

We have since upgraded our lure to on of Jeff’s specials and hope to catch a real monster next…watch this space…


Big day today!

Wild Tigris has crossed the equator; we are now in the northern hemisphere.

Unfortunely for Dave he was the only person onboard who had not crossed the equator on a sailing vessel before.

Since yesterday we have all done our best in winding him up about what will happen.

Everything from nipple piercing to keel-hauling was mentioned!

Luckily for him it was not that bad, he survived after bravely drinking King Neptune’s blood and Holly had a great time playing “King Neptune’s wench” making equatorial pancakes (on him!).

Otherwise the wind has been as you can expect around the equator; non-exciting.

We are for the moment motoring to 2 degrees north where the latest u-grib file promised us more wind.


0 26’ 73 N

42 25’ 48 W


08 March 2011

leaving Brazil

Brazil has been great!

Warm, busy, full of beautiful ladies in tiny bikinis dancing samba, great food, great nights out, some of the most stunning beaches, Fernando de Nornonha was in the top of the most exotic destination yet.

Salvador-Recife-Fernando de Nornonha-Fortaleza.

That’s why there hasn’t been too much time for the blog!

Wild Tigris left Fortaleza yesterday afternoon on high tide and had some really good sailing yesterday and through last-night. Now the rain clouds are sneaking up on us.

So the wind goes up, down, changes direction….

And the rain is falling….the famous ‘Inter-tropical conversion zone’ !=)

That is why I volunteered to go downstairs to the comfy, dry main saloon to update the blog!!!!!=)




1 44 50 s

40 01 35 w



N.b. Just over 120Nm until Wild Tigris crosses back into the Northern Hemisphere.

       Will King Neptune make an appearance to initiate the only ‘green-horn’ (Dave J.) aboard?