Monday, December 13, 2010

Atlantic Crossing - Day 2

Our noon  position today was 26.05.6N / 17.14.6W & our noon to noon run from Sunday 12/12/10  was 174.5 miles

Monday Dec 13th 2010
After a very uneventful night watch, that meaning  a mere zephyr of wind  to fill the jib, lots of motor sailing and no shipping within cooee, the  stars slowly faded away and the sky ever so gradually lightened as the dawn began to break. Always a good spirit lifter after a rather boring dark night at sea.

On a brighter note however, something that we always look forward to on passage is checking our emails. Even though we are pretty much alone out here we still feel "connected" to the world when we receive an e-mail or two from friends. Early this morning the emails came in and the weather gribs showed yet another very light / windless day ahead. That equates  to using the engines a lot more than what we would like. GWTW carries around 900 litres of fuel, so we can motor a long way if we have to, but not  all the way across this big ocean. Bring on the trade winds!

The sea is very calm today with long slow swells that occasionally slosh up on the bottom of the transoms, so if we do have to motor then these are the right sort of conditions. The combination of the gentle swells and the hum of the engine is very conducive to sleep I might add. There's an up side to everything I guess, especially in this sleep deprived environment of double handed passage making.

The flat seas  make it very easy to go about our daily lives and to cook and do chores around the boat…no matter if we are at anchor or on the move the chores just never seem to end.  Apart from the dolphins yesterday the animal count today has been one bird. So where is all the wild life that is reportedly out here? Whales, turtles, big fish? Maybe tomorrow we'll see a few.

The shipping is as common as the bird life today , just one going in the  opposite direction. We did however spot a yacht,  about forty footer with its cruising chute hanging from the halyard like a wet rag. We decided to motor over to say g'day. On board was a European couple  with their 'Benji' type dog. They told us that they were happy just to sit and wait for the wind to fill in. After a quick chat we wished them well and continued on our way. For those of you who are dog lovers like me, there are a lot of cruising boats out here with their canine pals aboard. So if you are considering a 'Sea Change' pardon the pun, then make sure you factor in your pooch as well!

These guys were in no rush to go anywhere.

Each morning at 0900 we listen to a radio net named " The Rum Runners"   that's how we keep in touch with all our sailing friends out here. Most of the 30 odd  boats that left the day before us have similar light wind conditions  and are also motoring. The majority are about 100 to 150 miles up the road and appear to be heading down towards the Cape Verde Islands some 690 miles in the distance, no doubt with the idea of picking up more fuel. So maybe it will be Christmas parties in The Cape Verdes. That sounds like fun.
Well finally at 2030 this evening the wind has graced us with its presence. A lovely Nor'easter of 13 -16 knots. So at last the engine has been switched off and the main and jib are doing the work. We are sailing now with speeds around nine and a half knots. It's so nice to just hear the waves, the wind and the melodic tones of Reeves, our  faithful auto pilot.

Fingers crossed that it stays like this for the rest of the trip.

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