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Date: 27 May 2009 17:05:39
Title: Wed 27 May - midday position 26:00.916N 61:53.108W - course 358M - 408nm to Bermuda

 

Day 3 – Monday 25th May 0000 hrs to 0400 hrs

Sailing close hauled with <10 knots on stb bow. Spent 3 hours trying to make as much easting as poss. Wind freshened slightly so I took the option of flying the genoa, cutting the motor and bearing away about 30degrees. Only prob with this new course is we are sailing already about 60nm to port of our desired rhumb line.

Sighted large cargo ship to stb est. about 3 miles off. Then soon after that saw 5 large light looms which I assumed were other cargo vessels passing just down horizon. We obviously are close to a major shipping lane – most likely US eastern seaboard ports bound for Sth Americas?

 

Spent day close hauled in light winds – very frustrating as bloody slow. Having concerns about food supply as at this rate we will take another month!!

 

1600

Managed to upload our 1st weather data for 2 days (using Iridium sat phone) and took the decision to head for Bermuda. The light winds we have been experiencing will continue for the next week and no south in it so no good trying to maintain Azores heading.

We immediately bore away 50degrees and put up the cruising shute. Much nicer angle and our new target is much closer – 660nm instead of 2000!

We hope to hold this new course as forecast not predicting any wind from the west so should make Bermuda on this board.

 

1840

Just finished sundowners (rum & coke for Carmel & Richard; beer for Mark and a nice syrah for Paul), pretty sunset followed by Carmel cooking up lovely meal of sausages, spud & peas? Plain but tasty.

Dropped cruising shute just after dark as the wind picked up to 20knts. Spent all night travelling at 7+ knots which is our best run so far. Only downer was Carmel’s bunk got wet (again) as the forehatch is leaking and we had water washing over the foredeck most of the night.

 

Day 4 – Tues 26 May

Carmel & I both tired from lack of sleep – down side to going faster is the boat moves around more. Took a while to get our bodies going this morning.

Did some maintenance on the fridge water pump as this wasn’t working. Once going again we ran the main engine for 1 hour as we try and do twice per day to keep the fridge & freezer compartments cold.

Then slowed the boat down and ran off downwind slightly to keep water off foredeck while we ran sealer around the hatch and windlass in an effort to stop the water ingress. We shall see later tonight if the wind picks up again?

Spotted another whale downwind today. Only small so think it was a pilot?

No sign of the French boat we had been keeping company with today as our courses have diverged – they are still trying to lay rhumbline for Azores while we are heading further left for Bermuda. Did see another sloop this arvo – came up across our stern passing about 1/2mile behind. They are laying the Azores and looks like they have come from Virgins direct or even Puerto Rico?

Everyone is in good spirits, no seasickness, and food is holding out well. Finished last of our fresh fruit supply today but still have some fresh meat meals left to cook.

Carmel reading heavily like she does and has finished 5 books already. I am on #3.

 

Have done approx 400nm in 3½ days. Made up time last night when our average speed went from 5.2knots to 6.5knots. Have just set cruising shute again. Looking forward to another great sunset.

Oh… forgot to mention we can see the Southern Cross constellation – it is low in the southern sky and of course is upside down to how we are used to seeing it. But really cool to see. Stars out here have been fantastic – North Star is bright and have good views of Venus in the early evening and Mars and Jupiter? in early morning.

Stew for dinner tonight – yum!

 

Day 5 – Wed 27 May

Light sailing again overnight. Nothing of note to report other than very bright stars again.

Everyone reasonably rested this morn. Did boat chores this morning – Richard pulled apart electric drill to check out why it wasn’t going; Mark washed down cockpit squabs with freshwater (yes we have enough as we have been extremely conservative on water so far); Carmel washed her bedding and squabs and put them out to dry; and I got onto my hands & knees in the galley and pulled out the SW & FW foot pumps in an effort to make a good one out of two.

Not to be as both had cracked casings – so maybe a new one in Bermuda (probably too expensive though as Bermuda is one of the most expensive places on earth!!) or Richard may ask Martin to bring one out to the Azores? If you are reading this Martin it is a Whale Mk3 gusher foot pump.

 

Forgot to mention, we are going through the Sargasso Sea which is named such for the huge amounts of Sargasso seaweed which are found here. Making it difficult to troll for fish so Mark has given up for now – at least until weed disappears.

I saw a Portugese Man-O-War this morning – quite a visibly large sail it had – so could have been a large beasty?

Not much else to report – Richard will send this update blog thru at midday when he gets another weather report; Carmel is making cookies and getting ready to do her first daytime watch.

She is a bit scared to do a night watch yet so will try her out during the day. Not much to it as the weather is steady and light. No hand steering required as we are using either the Simrad auto helm or the Hydrovane.

Ricahrd has just had his first shower in several days so is smelling much nicer now!

Tomorrows jobs include finding where the water is getting into the aft cabin. Richard under some pressure to sort this as Phillipa will not be amused.


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