Atlantic Crossing – Day 6

Blogger: John
Time: 15:00, 16-Feb-2020
Location: 300 miles north of the Cape Verde islands
Total to Date: 673 nm
Daily Run (25 hours!): 153 nm (best so far!)

After yesterday’s full and varied celebrations today has been primarily a day of recovery. I’m sitting on the port cockpit cushions looking aft watching 3-4m Atlantic swells rolling towards me. They course beneath us gently lifting us up and then dropping us down again with that characteristic downwind swishing noise. It’s magnificent. And through it all I also watch Paul, the Aries steering gear, poorly counterweight tied to his bright yellow vane. Flipping and flopping from side to side he steers us better than any of us can hand steer her (except for super IJ of course) for mile after mile after mile. If you don’t know how he works try Googling this amazing piece of British engineering. I can also see the two solar panels mounted on the aft guard rails. We’ve had good sunny weather so far meaning that they have produced sufficient electrickery to meet all our onboard needs. Just now though the sun has gone down s no more amps today. But the batteries are full so all is good.

Last night we cracked on again as the wind strengthened and the waves built. Reef the main, reef the yankee, reef the yankee again, reef the main and finally furl the yankee completely and bowl along at 7 knots with the main prevented out, a nasty sea rolling in on our port quarter. We’re still sailing heavily reefed now but we’ve gybed to give us a more comfortable ride and to gain some westing. So we’re now heading away from the Cape Verde islands our last possibility of a landfall this side of the Atlantic.

As a result partly of the freshening conditions we recorded a daily record day’s mileage of 153 nautical miles. But this is where time starts to do your head in. We put the clocks back yesterday which meant that my nominal 3 hour watch turned into 4. It also means that our daily run of 153 miles was actually covered in 25 hours rather than 24. It’s light an hour earlier too.

Jobs today have included a redesign of Gill’s bed (port side saloon). She kept falling out of her lee cloth so Jack’s brown paper parcel for delivery to Colombia (all legit honest guv) has now made her berth twice as wide as before. One happy skipper. Meanwhile IJ andI have been on a squeak reduction blitz with moderate success. Still left to do is to tighten one of the starboard side stays that hold up the mast but that’s under tension at present so will have to wait for another day. Lunch today? Ratatouille courtesy of M and G.

No ships, no ships, no ships (though a few on AIS), no fishing, no f, no f (too rolly), no whales, no w, no w (boo), no Flying fish, no ff, no ff (too far north still). Several petrels.

Use https://www.noforeignland.com/boat/4717902794063872 with SHOW JOURNEY to track our progress.

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