Sixth day outVicki
2012/07/22, western Atlantic
Making much better time today. Yesterday evening we brought in the drogue. I had to steer the boat to keep her coming down the waves and not going broadside to them. Anxious moments for me, biting my lips, sweating bullets, that kind of thing. I look over and there is a pod of dolphins gamboling in the waves. Time for attitude readjustment, I had to learn how to enjoy this. Once the drogue was in and the sails up, Nokomis took off like a bird released from a cage, raring to go. We all feel better. We take turns up in the cockpit on watch overnight, while everyone else is down below sleeping. It can be lonely, but also peaceful. I had the shift where the sun comes up, but it was hard to tell because there were so many clouds in the sky. Then the sky starting lightening to the north and west because clouds were clearing behind - which is a good thing because that is what is coming our way. I was listening to Barber's Arpegio for Strings "Winter was hard" when the clouds parted and the sun broke through. I put my face into the dodger to have the sun and gently wept. It was a glorious moment to feel so alive. Things I like on this trip: there are so many birds out here! It is quite fun to watch them soar up and down the valleys of the swells. They like to fly in the swirls of air coming off our sails, and I think it is easier for them to find food in our wake. Birds are our constant companions.
Fifth day outVicki
2012/07/21, western Atlantic
It went from uncomfortable to hard and back to uncomfortable. We could not clear from the stormy area and did get hit with high winds and large, chaotic waves. Spume even. We were down to three reefs in the main and the tiny storm staysail and the boat was hard to control. These are short waves from all sorts of directions. We tried to heave to and that wasn't doing it, so we put out the drogue. That's right, the long line with 110 cones, 330 webbing straps and 990 knots. My knots held and the boat slowed down to 2-3 knots. Kind of slow but heading in the right direction. Waves slapping the boat from many directions so we did not have the person on-watch in the cockpit. We were all down below with someone awake watching the AIS for big boats and listening to the sounds. We are down to oatmeal and canned soup, about all that we can stomach. Now the storm is past and we are trying to get in the drogue to return to sailing. At this pace we would run out of food before Ireland!
Fourth day outVicki
2012/07/20, East of Flemish Cap
The seas are lumpy and our progress is slow, but still adding on the miles. We started heading a little more south to avoid the worst of a storm. We are getting weather updates from a professional weather service, and we can make some adjustments in our course. If you were to ask if this is enjoyable, I would have to say mostly not. There are some great moments. Yesterday we adjusted sail, added some speed and almost immediately we had a pod of dolphins come roaring in to play in our bow wave. That was great. And then we spent some time sitting out on the cabin top, just watching waves and that felt great. Otherwise it is damp down below from the high humidity (raining right now) and everything we put on is damp, it takes our body heat to dry out the clothes. We have an enclosed bimini above that means we can sit up there and be warm and out of the rain and most of the wind. I haven't feed the fishes yet, but there is a continuous low level of stomach nausea. It makes it hard to eat much, not much appetite, I am even off the chocolate! I guess this is one way to lose weight, wonder if we could make a TV show out of it?
Third day at seaVicki
2012/07/19, Flemish Cap
Yesterday was a fairly calm day, which meant we did not go far. The highlight was the appearance of a whale next to us. He was definitely checking us out, diving under the boat and coming up on the other side and then finally he passed diagonally right in front of us, just feet from the bow. Overnight the winds built up and is coming from behind. The waves are confused so it is very rolly again. Lunch is roast beef and a vegetable melee. While I was preparing the meal the vegetables got loose so we called them free-range vegies. Good news - it is sunny!
Second day outVicki
2012/07/18, Grand Banks, Newfoundland
The wind has gone light and variable. Still making distance, but not as much as the first day. But seas are calmer and no one is sea sick. I saw the fin of a dolphin, otherwise the only wild-life we see are birds. Everyone says hi. Lunch today is chicken with potatoes, carrots and parsnips in the pressure cooker and a salad. Only salad we can have on this trip. Most vegetables are root vegetables or canned. Our one big common meal is important for socializing, the rest of the time we see each other only in passing. Eating and sleeping, that is about all.
First day outVicki
2012/07/17, Grand Banks, Newfoundland
First day out and we are making good time. Being on the boat can be compared to being in a washing machine. But I can stomach it. We have used our watch schedule, it will take a while to settle into the sleeping routine. First big meal is pork chops, rice and broccoli, prepared by Chef Al. He is strapped to the stove. I wish I had a video to share. Gibbs is cat napping and Paul is steering. He says we are on our way to Greenland. Green, Ice, Ire, what is the difference - it is all land. I don't think I can write much - hard on the tummy. Now that we are out here the butterflies are gone.
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