Routine days on passage
23 November 2013 | 300 miles West of Cape Verde Islands
We are blessed with perfect winds and weather. Wind between ENE and ESE force 4 occasionally 5. Atlantic swells only 1.5 to 2 meters high. The motion of the yacht is now much more gentle than the first night out. We roll on down the swells, with the occasional bigger wave catching under the stern to spill anything that is not well wedged, and to test our balance moving about the yacht. Everyone getting more agile, and the last vestiges of Mal di Mare have disappeared. We have a typical trade wind sky spotted with small cumulus with a little Cirrus brushing the upper atmosphere. The temperatures are quite warm during the day, up around 27 to 30 degrees C, but in the night falling to a delicious 20 degrees.
The waning moon rises a little later each night so that we are plunged into darkness at 7pm, the yacht rushing into the blackness with only the bright stars above and the flashing of phosphorescence in the sea to light our way. We change down the sails before dark, lowering the spinnaker and setting the Genoa for the night so that there is less chance of sail changes in the dark on the foredeck. At night also there is always the possibility of a rain squall rushing through to carry away the Spi unexpectedly.
The Aries self steering has become indispensable and is generally very reliable, and lifts the burden of helming hour after hour from the crew, and uses no power to run. It was amazingly fortuitous to find the device behind the shed in the garden when we bought our little cottage on the island of Elba back in 2000.
My day revolves around preparing 3 meals a day for the always famished crew. Dinners have been Chilli Con Carne and rice last night, Tortellini with fresh pesto yesterday. Jonathan cooked up some delicious hamburgers with a tomato topping, cabbage and leeks the night before while we were at anchor in Mindelo, busily repairing the damaged Aries wind vane so that we could get underway the following morning. Lucnches recently have been salads with lettuce and other items likely not to keep long, some Taboule, Tuna and mayo sanwhiches etc. Breakfasts sometimes eggs and bacon or scramble, fruit salads and cereals.
We are aiming to work our way more to the south as our latest Grib forecast suggests better winds on the latitude of our destination in 3 or 4 days time, and light winds or calms to the north. So we will stay on port tack for the next couple of days. Best wishes to all, Len