Sunday, December 7, 2008

Less than 2000 to go!

December 7, 2008 1:45 am
coordinates 18 43.7758N,028 03.706W

Day 5 sunrise brought us the answer to the grey haze we seem to be living in. These easterly winds we realized are bringing loads of Sahara Sand. The particles hold the moisture and make for a real gray day. No wonder we had been sneezing in the middle of the ocean. Meanwhile, we are covered in the red stuff. The wind is holding steady as well as the barometer. Keep on, keeping on.

Day 6, we tried to start the water maker but no pressure. Not a good sign and a brief moment of anxiety. We fiddled around with it for a while and managed to get it working. It doesn't like to be run without the motor on and often builds a strange pressure up in it. Then that afternoon, the winds began to die as forecasted. We started up the motor only to hear it lug down and struggle. Bruce changed out a filter and then the engine died completely. She too likes to be used more frequently
and doesn't appreciate having to sit and wait her turn with all this wind. Changed a second filter and she too was happy. It was the second moment that day though that we briefly thought we were going to have to divert to Cape Verde. Now would be the best time to do that as well if needed because we are almost too far past it and any return would involve a lot of beating into weather. Never a fun chore.

The wind, thankfully, filled back in but is keeping us on our toes, with frequent 40 degree shifts. Blowing now at 10 to 20 knots rather than the 20 to 30 range, we have put more sail up and we continue to move right along. By 12 noon on the 6th we have pulled the last reef out of the main and are sailing with the jib, full main sail and stay sail. A new one for Ohana Kai. The sea state has lessened considerably but the swells still can't seem to make up their mind about which direction they would
like to come from. We did end up putting the reef back into the main sail only to quiet down the slapping. Light winds can actually do more damage sometimes than the big winds, when things start slopping around. Not to mention how difficult it makes it to take naps with the noise.

The butter may nearly be melting, we are down to t shirts and shorts during the daytime and blue sky is making longer and longer appearances.

Today we celebrate as well, because as of 2:30 am on the 6th, we crossed a magic line. 700 miles down and less than 2000 to go! Woo hoo! Celebrate all the victories, even the little ones.

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