Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Half Way!!!

December 11, 2008 6AM
coordinates 16 24.750N,036 03.405W

By the time you read this, we will have officially crossed the half way point on our Atlantic journey. Roughly 1350 nm down and 1350 to go. 11 Days so far. The last 4 days have brought us quite a mixed bag of weather. The majority of which held little to no winds and we were struggling with flogging sails and restless spirits, clocking only an average of 115 mile days. At this speed we will just make it in by Christmas Eve, but no guarantees. With the boys weather book, we are practicing our
forecasting skills. We are getting rather competent at judging highs/lows and reading the clouds and barometer, not mention very familiar now with relative vs. absolute humidity!

Day 7 Light winds off and on out of the east, thunder and lightning storms at night that make for a beautiful show. When the clouds part the stars shine bright. Orion is standing guard directly above us and marching on his way to the horizon. The moon is growing great and Jupiter is brighter than we've ever seen.

Day 8 No wind and we break down for a fairly full day of motoring. The up side to motoring means the running the water maker and filling the tanks up with hot water for showers! There was even enough power and water left over to make extra for a couple loads of laundry. Of course, doing laundry out here has much the same affect as washing your car at home, in comes the rain.

Day 9 Off again, on again, we are still struggling with light winds and are starting to see the wear and tear appear as we do our daily inspections after trying to reef and make sail changes in the dark. A few new tears found in some reinforced areas of the main reef points. Not critical, but add it to the list. Secondly, the boom where it attaches to the mast have begun to grind against each other. We aren't sure what has caused the extra wiggle room to allow the grinding, or what caused the
grinding to allow the wiggle room. Again not critical, for now we've reinforced the bottom point with a washer and will do the real investigating once we've reached land and can fully remove the boom to inspect.

Day 10 The winds, though light, were consistent enough out of the ESE all day to fly the spinnaker. A ten hour run with our colors up will lift any spirits. Not to mention the forecast for stronger winds to fill in within the next day. Busy, busy night with great winds and lots of rainy squalls. As long as there is wind with it we don't care what falls out of the sky.

One of our neighbors out here, s/v Redwood Coast II has crossed our path within a mile 2 or 3 times now. That's rather remarkable when you are 1300 miles from anywhere. Nearly every boat out here as well has cast their lines to the water with the almost instant gratification of Dorado on the line. Knowing we still have a freezer full of meat, we can't quite rationalize catching more food, tasty though it may be. Truth be told, we still struggle a lot will killing the beautiful creatures. There
is nothing quite like seeing their wildly vivid blue, green and yellow colors literally drain from their body as they stop fighting. We on the other hand have kept our lines neatly on board and continued to catch our daily quota of unsuspecting flying fish. If they have the fortune of landing in the cockpit at night, they have a fighting chance of being returned to the sea, but if they land anywhere forward of the dodger, I'm afraid they are on their own.

The Kelly's on s/v Moorea gave us a half way crossing gift before we left. When the boys wake up I'm sure that's the first thing on their minds. I'll let you know what it was. Our pals Tom and Amy from s/v Sandpiper who just departed out of Las Palmas themselves have posted some footage of our departure. I hear they have quite a few great You Tube clips, check it out:

So, though the butter never officially melted, it was soft enough for us. We're making our way west, have changed a couple time zones and are hoping that the trade winds fill in and the next ten days are going to be faster than the last.

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