Monday, December 27, 2010

Atlantic Crossing Part 2 - Day 12

Our position at noon on 26/12/2010 was 14.26N / 37.47 W. The noon to noon run from 25/12/2010 was 130 miles.

26th December

Checking the radar at 0400 revealed a couple of large purple patches moving quickly up behind us. Looking out from the cockpit it was easy to see the thick cloud formations of squalls. One of the closer ones definitely contained rain, the dark curtain reaching downwards towards the sea was a dead give away. In a bit of a scramble all the hatches and ports were hastily closed.  The air temperature dropped with a sensation that someone had just opened the fridge door.  We were lucky that this squall floated on past us, unlike some of the boats that left the Canary Islands in late November and sustained major sail damage. The past couple of nights have seen these cells becoming a nightly occurrence, so we are always a little wary.

Today's sailing has been quite good with the nor'easter steadily building to the 15 - 20 Knt range. The screecher made a very brief appearance mid morning until the wind readout showed speeds in excess of 23kts apparent, which was well above our 18 Knt threshold for this sail.  The main was reefed, the jib unfurled and the boat settled down nicely. The decision to shorten sail was a very good call.
Conditions last night were downwind and fairly light, resulting in GWTW  having slower boat speeds than are the norm. "No Rehearsal" carried their cruising chute which allowed them to run particularly well downwind, this morning they were 80 miles ahead. "Tehani Li" also made ground on us during the night and are now roughly 40 miles in front.
With only 1200 miles left to run to Bridgetown, Barbados we feel that we've made a huge dent in the passage and in a day or so we will have passed the halfway mark.

The fishing lines were trolling out the back for most of the day, and late this arvo we hooked a very good sized Mahi Mahi. Finally the drought had broken! Since leaving Gibralter and the Med some 2,200 miles ago this is only the second fish we've caught. There are many theories on what type of lure to use, what colour lure works best, how far behind the boat the lure should trail etc, etc. But we reckon that most times it's just the luck of the draw.

A good size Mahi Mahi

So once again seafood is back on the menu. We now have enough fish for at least 3 or 4 meals.
The lamb that was destined to be dinner  tonight just got the thumbs down from the skipper.
It will be a fish feast instead.

 Nothing is more alluring than the smell of sizzling pan fried fresh Mahi, Mahi

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