Day 46
Last night we had the engine on as the wind had dropped. Niall, the skipper, heard a strange thumping from the propeller during darkness. As soon as it was light we stopped the engine, took down the sails and Niall swam under the boat to investigate. Yes, there was something round the propeller. Suddenly he shouted, shot up over the side of the boat and ran full speed into the shower. Jellyfish. He had been stung by a jellyfish, probably a Portuguese Man of War. Vinegar helps a lot to lessen the pain and we gave him a good spraying.
After a short rest he donned an air cylinder and armed with the bread knife cut off the offending plastic sheeting that had wrapped itself round the shaft. The cup of coffee after all this was very welcome. The stings were really painful on his hand and on his back and were very red.
In the afternoon we slowed down and dragged the Manta Trawl behind the boat to collect our daily plastics sample from the ocean. When the trawl was pulled in we found a Portuguese Man of War jellyfish in the filter. With great care and wearing plastic gloves we cleaned the filter and gave it a good spray of vinegar. We had to throw away the contents of the filter. No one wanted to get stung.
There were a few short showers in the afternoon and another of those gorgeous sunsets. The wind strengthened and we set the sails and turned off the engine. We didnt spot any whales or dolphins today. Just lots of jellyfish.