ARC+ LEG 2 DAY 8
28 November 2018 | 14:54 043:03
1117nm down 1037 to go.
Give me a ship and a star to sail her by...but which star, there are millions to choose from. Its another dark starlit night with clear skies, the sun set at 18:16 just after I came on watch at 18:00 (GMT-2) with spectacular colours of yellow turning to orange and every hue and shade of purple reflecting off wisps of fine weather clouds on the south western horizon. The moon has not risen yet so it is very dark, but even then your eyes adjust toi the darkness and you can just about make out an horizon...or may be just a lime opf cloud on the horizon. the constellations of stars that have been studied by man for millennia are laid out like a celestial map above us... all we need to do is to decipher the code and we can find a star to navigate by.
We have been making good progress averaging 150nm a day with winds NE to ENE force 4-5, at this rate we only have another 7 days to go. The swell has certainly lessened from the size of two storey town house (5m) down to that of a garden shed (2m) and when down below you would hardly know you were at sea at all let alone be in the middle of the Atlantic ocean a thousand miles from anywhere, not even a shop to pick up some more tea bags from...and the fresh milk ran out ages ago, but the UHT is just fine. Now we are in the western Atlantic the weather seems to have improved, less swell, winds are more constant, the clouds have moved apart for us revealing clear blue skies and a very hot sun...may ber too hot on a small boat.
Today has been quite a day with milestone after milestone. At 0400 (local time GMT-2) this morning we had sailed 1000nm on this passage, I can now fill in my application for the Ocean Cruising Club. At 15:30 we reached our halfway point, the distance traveled and the distance to go where both the same at 1075nm thus half way for our voyage or there about providing we do not detour off course too much further, then at 20:10 our distance to go (to our next waypoint of the NW corner of St Lucia) was 1045nm which is half way along the rhumb line from Mindelo, wer have since sailed another 10nm thus we can confidently say we have reached the halfway point and its downhill from now on in and plain sailing. We celebrated with a bottle of bubbly and a splendid chicken stir fry cooked by Jeremy.
We hava been careful not to push the boat too hard averaging a speed of 6-7kts, although it is exhilarating for us to sail at 7-8+kts we know that this can put undue stress on the boat and we are keen to avoid any breakage. A trip like this puts a huge strain and wear and tear on to the gear and equipment, sailing 24/7 for two weeks is the equivalent of a years sailing for most boats. We are very aware that breakages and gear failure can happen, we have been touch with several boats on this trip via the VHF radio and SSB radio who have had problems including broken generators, broken forestay broken halyards, one boat with rudder damage, and another with a small but not insignificant leak. We establish radio networks so that we can keep in touch with each other so that any boat that can, can offer and provide assistance to other yachts if assistance is required. We have already had to tighten up some bolts on the self steering gear and we are constantly looking our for chafe on the various length of rope we have criss-crossing the boat. we are not looking to finish in a record breaking time...just in one piece.
One of the big jobs i have to do as skipper is manage the water, diesel, gas and power. unlike the sailing ships of yesteryear, we use up a lot of electric power for lights, pumps, fridge and icebox, navigation equipment, radio equipment and to run the watermaker. We have to keep our water tanks full and the batteries topped up to above 24v (it's a 24volt system rather than the normal 12v) this all means topping up the electric power provided by the wind generator and PV panels by the generator which runs off of diesel, we have a limited supply of diesel but at the moment are having to run the generator perhaps 5hrs a day. We have to keep an eye in how much gas we are using for cooking and boiling the kettle..too many cups of tea and we might run out of gas, then it will be cold baked beans for supper...arrggghhh...
But all in all it is rather spiffing fun...
I shall now turn in for the night until my next watch at 06:00 when it will still be dark for another hour to go before dawn.
Yacht Cerulean of Penryn Ventis Secundis ----- ----- At 29/11/2018 00:18 (utc) our position was 14 53.39'N 043 09.92'W
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