Day 13 - the other "side" of the Atlantic

Espen Aalstad
Sat 8 Dec 2007 17:30
16:11N 48:23W
So far, there has been a lot of merit to the old saying "head south until the butter melts and then turn west". At least until the last few days where first the strong wind and then for the last 24 hours rain has shown another Atlantic. Over night, it has rained at least 250mm. The buckets on deck was almost full in daylight. Big,hairy drops for an hour at a time in the pitch dark. Not fun. The only relief is that the 30+knot wind comes down when the heavy rain starts and that the air remains warm. A stuffy boat though with all hatches closed.
We have reefed in yet Espen still did a speed record of 17.5 knots in the early mornings. I can do without.
Others have not feared so well in the Atlantic powers. This morning, we were in the middle of a Mayday situation. Over VHF, we heard a boat just 15 miles away having demasted and taking in water. Fortunately, the ARC boat Navillus was only a mile away and they could fast and efficient rescue the three people on board. Not a given in these big waves. The boat SPAM is drifting and sinking. Regi ended up as Mayday relay for MRCC in Falmouth and ARC control as Navillus could only communicate per VHF.
It was reassuring in all this that within a few minutes 5 boats was ready and close to come to assistance. Our thoughts go now the poor people having lost belongings and maybe a dream.
We continue on course to St. Lucia with even more respect for the great Atlantic. Take care out there.