Sunday evening, the 24th
24 November 2013 | About 500 miles West of Cape Verde Islands
Greetings to all our regular readers, and the occasional readers too!
We have been having the most wonderful day's sailing today with good winds, and Aries and the boat performing beautifully, The sea is a deep blue with lots of white horses everywhere and, after a cloudy start, a sunny day with fluffy white clouds. To give you some idea of sea conditions the waves are generally about four feet but fairly regularly the underlying swell, which is present all the time, pushes them up to 8 or 10 feet so that they then block the horizon for a few moments. We have been making splendid progress at 7 knots or more, and have reached 9 knots on a few occasions. We have not changed sails now for 48 hours. Our noon to noon mileages have been 157, 153 and, today, 172. For the really talented mathematicians among you, that adds up to 482 miles by noon today, and allowing for the 6 or so hours since then we are now over 500 miles or very nearly a quarter of the way! At the moment, lighter winds are being forecast in four or five days time.
This morning it looked as if we might be heading for a shower of rain and it was just possible to see part of a rainbow on the horizon ahead, but nothing came of it. There are a few birds flying around - Len thinks they are probably storm petrels - but we have seen no more dolphins or flying fish since last reported, although there were several little ones on deck on Saturday morning. We have not seen any whales.
There is, of course, much less to tell you about now that we are at sea and have left the supermarkets, cafes etc behind. You will be reassured that all appears to be going smoothly. There have been no arguments and no-one has fallen out, just Johnny saying that he has decided that he prefers, after all, to be called Johnny rather than Butch! The watch system is working well and we rotate it so that we each get a different period each night. The waning moon is rising later and later, but that gives a chance to see the stars more clearly and to see the phosphorescence in the water. In a few days' time we shall be moonless and then the cycle will start again. During the day the sun is pretty hot - definitely suncream and/or T shirt weather. We have a green umbrella which is erected in the cockpit to ward off the worst of the sun. How about that! The nights are pleasantly cooler although one doesn't need more than a pullover when on deck at night. We are all reading fairly regularly, except Len who generally fins something to do to the boat when he is not spoiling us with wonderful meals: fruit salad, toast and marmalade for breakfast, salad, home-made bread and cheese for lunch and a very good and filling hot dish for supper - tonight it's Hungarian pork and sauerkraut goulash (or it might be Czech!) with boiled potatoes. One of the highlights has been Len's spiced apple and walnut cake - which I'm afraid didn't last long!
Richard has now come down from the cockpit saying that he has just returned a large flying fish to the sea. It turns out to have been about 6 inches long. No more fish have been caught, We are naturally keeping a sharp eye out for monsters from the deep, but so far have seen none.
Best love to all.