Atlantic Crossing – Day 23

Blogger: Mariel and John
Date: 4-Mar-2020
Location: Closing on Martinique – it’s now REALLY close!
Total to Date: 2848nm (96nm to go)
24 Hour Run: 132nm

PART 1 – Mariel, 03.38am

Is this my last 3-5am nightwatch?? When I came on, there were less than 160nm to go, we are still making 5-6 knots in the right direction (at last!) and it said 1 day 11 hours til arrival – that would be 2pm Thursday! I have since done multiple calculations in my head (it’s catching) – if we were doing 4 knots, 5 knots, 6 knots,if we were blown off course etc etc, but Thursday still looks very promising – hooray!

So now I am looking out at the stars with a different perspective. This could be my last nightwatch with this many stars. Tomorrow I will be doing 11pm-1am and the moon will still be up, lighting the horizon as I scan for ships (still none to be seen), but masking all but the brightest stars.

I just saw a shooting star so bright that it left a trail across the sky. And another! A good sign, and my spirits are high.

PART 2 – John D, 14.32pm

So, here we are, probably the last post before we drop anchor. The final countdown, the last day of peace and tranquility. Current predictions are for arrival in St Anne’s, Martinique sometime tomorrow. Three weeks ago we each guessed when we would arrive. Gill and I both said tomorrow – me at 10.37, Gilly at 16.21. And we still have to factor in our final hour change. The winner will be the proud owner of a packet of haribos. Unfortunately they contain sugar so I won’t be eating them and Gill doesn’t like them.

Today has been much like yesterday. Good solid winds in the right direction, and an ETA growing ever closer, from yesterday’s Friday morning, to last night’s Thursday night, and now possibly even Thursday dawn – might we need to actually slow down to arrive in daylight?! Our daily mileages have returned to the 130s and several watches pass between pulling the course changing strings on Paul the Aries wind steering machine, voted for the second consecutive crossing the most useful item on the boat. Thoughts are turning to the general tidy up below, what can we do before we arrive, where will we be going for my joint arrival/birthday meal and of course who will be going where, when, once we do arrive?

More bird life today. The gannety thing we saw during our last crossing has been identified by Mariel as a masked booby – yesterday’s possible sighting was confirmed when another two flew around us this morning. Also a probable brown booby and a possible red footed booby (could have been a juvenile other booby though). IJ spotted another turtle drifting past though this time it was only a small one. This led to a discussion on how LITTLE wildlife we have actually seen. No close whale encounters, very few dolphins and not a lot of birds. Maybe it’s chance but I’m pretty sure we saw more creatures during the 2015 crossing. Or perhaps it’s to do with the fact that we had an extra seven days to spot things then!

Our (possibly) last lunch today consisted of yesterday’s freshly baked bread, cheese (still 9 packs in the fridge…!) and a fresh salad of cabbage, carrots (holding up remarkably well), avocados (‘ripened’ in IJ’s greenhouse in the cockpit, although turns out they were actually cooking), orange (only 3 left from the 80 we left La Palma with) and Gill’s carefully sprouted mung beans. We wondered how many boats arriving in the Caribbean are still eating fresh vegetables and not fighting over the last tin of baked beans. A very well done to Gill for the excellent provisioning.

That’s about it then. The last daily travel update. I’m afraid you’ll have to find something else to fill your breakfast/dinner/evening with. Thanks for all your messages over the past three weeks.

M, IJ, J and G

Use with SHOW JOURNEY to track our progress.

One thought on “Atlantic Crossing – Day 23

  1. Well done all of you, seems like you’ve been blessed all the way.
    I’ll certainly miss these wonderful blogs, but can’t wait to hear your voice, Mariel.


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