Passage to the Turks & Caicos day 2
15 March 2019 | 19:38 066:44
140nm down 280nm to go We are cracking along at the moment on a broad reach at 7kts through the water, one reef in the main and full genoa. We had a slow start yesterday with only 6-8kts of wind directly behind us from the south east, barely pushing us along a 2kts, so resorted to the engine for a couple of hours, to charge the batteries and run the watermaker, but the wind filled in and we managed to sail at 4.5 - 5 knots for the rest of the day and night. We have had the occasional rain squall giving us a bit of a soaking and messing around with the wind gust up to 18kts from every which way, but generally giving us a bit of a lift.
It was a super sunset yesterday as we passed by Peurto Rico, and for the most part (well my watch anyway) a clear moonlit night with the odd shooting star. A colourful sunrise this morning deteriorating into a cloudy, wet and squally morning, but now this afternoon a nice breeze, some blue sky with a few clouds around.
We have seen just a handful of other vessels. One of the Club Med sailing cruise liners passed us a couple miles to starboard in the night heading for the Turks and Caicos (i am sure they are following us around we have seen them everywhere), a few cargo ships including Yacht Express, one of the ships that transport peoples sailing yachts back across the Atlantic to Europe, it was heading for St Thomas in the US virgin Islands, and then, no doubt down to Antigua, a few people we have met on our travels are having their yacht shipped back, probably on that ship.
Old Harry the Hydrovane Wind Vane self steering gear is doing a splendid job as usual keeping us on track, but with these squally winds we are having to make plenty of adjustments, but still it beats hand steering for hours on end and does not use up any precious battery power. We are having to run the generator a couple of times a day for an hour or so to keep the batteries topped up to run the fridge, icebox, lights and of course the VHF, instruments and chartplotter. We use about 7-8amps per hour (at 24v) when sailing, the wind generator, only gives perhaps 1-1.5amps when going downwind, maybe 2-3 amps if we are going up wind. The pair of 50w (12v wired in parallel to give 24v) solar panels seem to be a waste of space barely giving 0.1 of an amp if we are lucky, it may be that they are just too small, badly positioned, or wired up wrong...or may be a combination of all three, In reality I suspect we need a pair of 150w 12v panels. If the 50w ones where running 100% efficiently, is should get 2 amps, a pair of 150w 12V ones may give me 6amps, and if mounted on top of the bimini should avoid being shaded and be more efficient...and that in combination with the wind generator should, almost, make us self sufficent...well now I know...may be next time, oh and another wind generator would not go a miss either...well I am sure you did not want to know about that, but I thought I would share it with you guys...any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Fishing...number of fish caught this passage zero, number of fish landed for the entire adventure so far, 2 mackerel off of Portland Bill on day three of our adventure.
It is only 16:00hrs local time here, and I have put a sausage stew in the MrD (thanks for the head's up on that one Steve) which is a fabulous thermal cooker, its a bit like a slow cooker, but you only need to fry off and simmer the ingredients for 15-20 minutes then take it off the heat and put the pot in the thermal canister and leave it to cook for the next three hours or so, it's brilliant and only uses a tiny amount of gas to cook a hearty stew, which will last us a couple of days. Not sure about the sausages though, they look a bit anaemic, i think they may have been turkey sausages. Turkey seems to be a staple in the Caribbean amongst the locals, turkey sausages and turkey bacon, must be a cheap way of providing protien, pork and beef and even chicken tends to relatively expensive in comparison, even fish is quite expensive, as it has to be caught off shore to avoid the risk of Ciguatera poisoning from fish that feed off the coral or fish that feed off fish that feed of the coral, if you know what I mean.
All this gabling on to you I missed the 16:00 log entry, by the way sea temperature is 26.4 degrees C, it has cooled down a bit, it was 28 degrees further south in the Grenadines.
Our ETA for Grand Turk is probably going to be Midday local time Monday 18th March, may be sooner, may be later...depends on the wind.
Better go and have a look out for ships...bye for now
Richard and Alison yacht Cerulean of Penryn
if you want to see pictures or more loo us up on for us at www.yachtcerulean.com facebook @yachtcerulean, instagram and if that is not enough you can always search 'Yacht Cerulean' on youtube if you are really bored.