Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Atlantic Crossing Part 2 - Day 13

Our position at noon on the 27/12/2010 was 14.14 N /41.10 W. Our noon to noon run from 26/12 was 196 miles.

Monday 27th December.

So what does surfing down a wave at 18 kts feel like?…It feels damn fast. If you have been to Disneyland and ridden "Space Mountain", that's also  what it fees like, except on the GWTW ride there are no seat belts to hold you in.!

Since yesterday afternoon and through the night the Trades have really been pushing us along. GWTW is rocketing forward and when she gets up on a wave like she just did, its wooshka!
Our 196 mile run for the past 24 hrs has been the best so far.

Another beautiful sunrise

 From early yesterday our sail configuration has remained the same, a single reefed main and full jib. Looking out from the cockpit the seas are steadily increasing in height, the overall view is 2-3 meter white capped waves, occasionally breaking. This is not a place for the faint hearted and you certainly need a high level of confidence in the integrity of your boat. The wind is also increasing and we are now regularly seeing the apparent wind in the 17 -23 kts range. Nearly time to pull in that second reef.

Despite the accelerated conditions the comfort level on board is still very pleasant, though sometimes the nerves get a little frayed. These lively conditions are predicted to be with us for the next few days.
Around sunset yesterday we had a radio call from another boat in our fleet, the Kiwi flagged yacht "Baracca". She had left the Cape Verde's the day before us and she was now abeam and seven miles to leeward. Although our encounter was brief it was nice to see another yacht out here in this vast ocean.
The only other two boats we are likely to come across before we make land fall are "No Rehearsals and Tehani Li".

The night sky was exceptionally clear in the early hours of this morning and gazing out toward the horizon on our port side a more than familiar sight shone brightly.  There she was, The Southern Cross. Liam and I both felt like we'd just bumped into an old and dear friend, one whom we had not seen for several years. It was a comforting feeling given that we are in the middle of the Atlantic and over a thousand miles from land.

It's 1900 UTC and as I type we have just crossed the half way point in our journey between the Cape Verde Islands and Barbados. Our ships clocks have been set back by yet another hour making our day just a little longer. Our time zone is now UTC minus two hours.
 The miles are ticking over and it should all be downhill from here.

 The steel drums are a calling us!

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