Atlantic Crossing – Day 14

Blogger: Mariel
Date: 23-Feb-2020
Location: Two thirds of the way across the Atlantic
Total to Date: 1806nm (1072nm to go!)
24 Hour Run: 137nm (actually another 25hr run, 127nm made good)

Currently sitting in the cockpit, with blue seas and blue skies in (almost) all directions. We are making nearly 6 knots in (almost) the right direction. Life on board has taken on a more relaxed feel. Yesterday afternoon, I realised that sailing no longer felt relentless. There’s been some discussion about what the new word could be – my vote is ‘constant’.

Partly, I think I have grown used to the constant movement, but also, as we passed halfway there was a discernible shift in weather, sea state and air and sea temperature. We are now in the region of tropical squalls, which bring with them an increase in wind speed and direction, bigger waves and occasional showers. But between the squalls, the wind has dropped to a very respectable 15-20 knots, and we glide along a deep blue sea towards a horizon unobscured by waves (almost).

Yesterday afternoon, we turned the clocks back again (so we are now two hours behind GMT). This means that the sun set around 7pm, and rose again soon after 7am this morning. John D and I put a reef in the mainsail as the sun sank towards the horizon last night. At last, warm enough to still be in shorts and a t-shirt. I stayed up at the mast for another 15 minutes to watch the sun disappear. The breeze was warm, and for the first time in this passage, there was a flat horizon in all directions. No big swells blocking our view. I sang a song that Katie taught me that has felt very fitting on this journey:

“Evening rise, spirit come,
Sun goes down when the day is done.
Mother Earth, awaken me
With the heartbeat of the sea.”

Today, the wind and waves have been up again and we’ve all been very grateful that we made the most of yesterday’s calm for washing, laundry, and relaxing. A couple of good wildlife spots to report – our first confirmed White Tropicbird visited this morning and flew around us for quite a while before disappearing again. And yesterday evening as we were eating supper, John D spotted two fins in the water just off the starboard beam – we didn’t see them for long enough to determine what they were, but definitely cetacean – either a couple of pretty hench dolphins, or small whales… This afternoon, Gill thought she saw a blow from a whale but when we all scrambled to look, there was nothing more to see.

Fishing report – the homemade alluring beaded lure has yet to bring in a fish, but something took a bite at it before we had to reel it in at lunchtime when a squall came through.

We have now added our final destination to our trip app and can swipe right to check our estimated arrival time… Slightly dangerous, as it veers between 6 and 11 days, depending on our course (currently just north of where we want to go) and speed. But it is keeping Gill thoroughly entertained.

(PS. Apologies to those who receive our morning and evening InReach messages confirming we are all ok and our location – we were so relaxed this morning that we forgot to send it until 3.30pm our time – hope we didn’t cause too much panic…!) X

G, IJ, J and M

Use with SHOW JOURNEY to track our progress.

One thought on “Atlantic Crossing – Day 14

  1. Hey Mariel, glad you are all in high spirits. It’s amazing how much calm seas and a bit of warmth makes everything easier. The flying fish you had land on deck a couple of days ago is a good sign for other fish being around. The Dorado or Mahi Mahi love flying fish and they are delicious! Any time we have flying land on deck we would rig them up with a small hook through the mouth and another, slightly bigger hook through the belly just infront of the tail (so the front hook tows the weight of the fish in a straight line). Then, when we spotted a Dorado we’d rush to grab the prepared flying fish from the freezer as this would pretty much guarantee us a catch! If you get any more stopping by, I’d want to try towing it in place of the lure for a while.
    I’m jealous of that excitement that builds as you approach the Caribbean. I look forward to the next update.
    Fair winds and following seas…


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