Days 3 and 4
28 November 2009 | At Sea
We're still averaging 175nm per day at an average speed of 7.5 knots under full mainsail and poled-out No. 3 Jib. The wind eased slightly and has been very steady at 15-20 knots NE.
We've got beautiful conditions for sailing and we're really starting to enjoy the night sailing with JD/Hels doing the 1900-2200 watch, Grandad Pete/Cousin Dean 2200-0100; JD/Hels 0100-0400; Grandad Pete/Cousin Dean 0400-0700. Then JD and Hels are up for when the kids wake at 0700.
Schoolwork after breakie from 0830 for about 2 hours.
Thankfully, Hels and Jesse are feeling much better and eating again. We celebrated passing the ¼ way mark this morning (Thursday, Day 4) with a Madeira cake at morning tea time. We're making really good progress and Dean has calculated that we'll finish in 15 days at this pace.
We're back into racing mode, more or less, and to prove it we put the "Big Bertha" rainbow gennaker up for a couple of hours this afternoon to blow out the cobwebs. Wow, that sail is truly amazing as it immediately adds 2 knots to your average speed. Anyone who dares run their gennaker through the nights will win this race I'm sure.
Grandad Pete cooked a lovely steak on the BBQ as we watched a pretty red sunset on gentle seas and the kids watched Underdog on the DVD down below.
We're feeling quite jubilant. It's taken us a while to feel comfortable being so far from land but we're more relaxed about it now (is there any choice in the matter anyway?)
Although we darted slightly west of the fleet initially, we've continued with the Christopher Colombus southerly route and gone well south to a turning point at 20deg 45N:25deg09W (about 200nm north of the Cape Verde Islands). This dogleg south is supposed to ensure us good solid tradewinds winds as we head West towards the Caribbean. We've noticed that many of the leading yachts (such as Luna Azzurra) have "cut the corner" which was a tempting thing to do although they risk running into lighter winds as they are about 150nm abeam of us to the North. At this point we'd prefer to be where we are given the wind forecasts, but it may turn out that their risk is rewarded. There's nothing we can do about it now except sail as fast as we can.