Brazil to Grenada - Day 6

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Thu 14 Mar 2013 23:05
10:46N 059:03W  1530 miles covered, 180 to go
We are nearly there now, we can almost smell the rum.  Our first sight of land will be Tobago which is 90 miles away, although we will pass it at about 3 am so all we will see are the lights.  We should get some acceleration around the northern tip because the north equatorial current flows quite strongly past Tobago.
The wind has remained favourable and, apart from a few hours this morning, it has been blowing from the northeast at 16 to 18 knots.  That means we have the wind coming from 10 degrees behind the beam, which it just so happens is also Anastasia’s ideal wind angle.  So far we are just managing to keep pace with Gunvor, who are now in sight, three miles ahead of us.
We had an interesting encounter with a cargo ship a couple of hours ago.  It was approaching us from our port quarter at 16 knots.  Our speed was varying between 9 and 11 knots at the time and we were 3 miles behind Gunvor.  The captain was obviously a fan of the computer game, Frogger, because he decided to cross our path, passing in front of Anastasia and behind Gunvor.   Our changeable speed and direction meant that the AIS display varied between him passing half a mile ahead of us, or hitting us.  When he showed no signs of changing course I called him up to ask if he was planning to pass us in front or behind and he confirmed that he would pass in front and asked us to hold our course, which we did.  He did eventually pass about half a mile in front of us but I was worried at one point when the wind picked up and we were accelerating into his path.  Thank goodness for the AIS, because without the information on the speed and direction of both boats it would have been terrifying watching him bear down on us.