Atlantic Crossing – Day 11

Blogger: John
Date: 21-Feb-2020
Location: Middle of the Atlantic, just a few miles from halfway. Total to Date: 1401nm
24 Hour Run: 134nm (another good run under headsail only)

Today’s post is for daughter Emma who said how much she enjoys the minutiae of our daily lives. It talks about this morning’s watch handover from Mariel to me. This went much more smoothly than the previous one when we gybed and the shaft brake rope broke again!!

Tweet tweet. Tweet, tweet. My phone starts to play its wake up call. I roll over, switch it off and see that it is 0440, almost time for my next two hour night watch.

I spend another three minutes snuggled in bed all the while listening to the boat. We’re swishing so we’re still cracking on. It’s not too rocky. All the better for getting dressed. No unusual noises. Good.

I reach for the light, the one that doesn’t shine a light into the saloon and get in Gill’s eyes but is always hard to find in the dark. Off to the heads. Trip over the pig’s leg (now somewhat decimated) and have a pee, wash my face and swill some mouthwash.

Now for dressing. Not too bad today. T-shirt, walking shirt, jumper, long trousers, salopettes, sailing jacket, socks, shoes and lifejacket. [Yes, we really are in the tropics now!]. I make it up on deck with 5 minutes to go before 0500. Perfect. It’s almost automatic now. Bounce through the boat. Not rocky is still rocky.

There’s Mariel wrapped in her blanket with her Grannie’s(?) white wooly hat on. “Good morning”. “Good morning”.
“Not too rocky this morning”?
“It was but it’s better now the wind has got up a bit”.

I climb the companionway steps, clip on and sit down.

Mariel starts her handover. We’re not able to make 265 degrees as the wind has come round further to the south. 280 degrees is the best we can do for now. We might need to gybe later. For now just make sure we don’t do so accidentally. Sky is clear now but clouds earlier. No ships (of course). No malfunctions to report. Wind has increased from 13-17 knots to 18-25 knots apparent. Take care not to gybe when the wind drops or a wave hits. Log entry completed. Do I have everything I need! Mariel, like Gilly, has a knack of knowing where everything is, even if I haven’t. Comforting and infuriating at the same time.

I thank her, she climbs down the steps, we untangle our lifelines and she unclips. “Sleep well”. “Thank you. Have a good watch”. And she is gone. I’m on my own for a couple of hours. I look around, check the course, check the stars, check Paul, give him a couple of tweaks. Speed 5 knots plus so IJ will be pleased. Note we are on a nice broad starboard reach. I settle down to write this blog post. I look up at the tricolour navigation light arching back and forth across the stars. It’s almost morning now and my favourites have set. No Orion or Sirius until tomorrow’s early evening watch. The ocean swishes past me.

G, IJ, M and J

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

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