Ascension Northwards - Day Fifteen 06 27.697N 043 11.872W

Mike and Liz Downing
Mon 28 Apr 2014 18:47
The wind has come round towards the East, making it somewhere between NE and ENE, or for the purists NEbE. The importance of this is that with it there, although the apparent wind is now just ahead of the beam, the true wind is behind the beam. And the real importance of that is that the swell and wind blown waves are just behind the beam and going with us rather than against us. So we're not bashing into waves and the motion is so much better! Missing out FdN and going further north in the ITCZ (to keep the speeds up) have helped give a much better angle on St Lucia. If the wind goes round any more we'll have to think about putting the windward pole up and having 3 sails up! The wind strength comes and goes around 15kts so we're making reasonable progress, the noon-to-noon run being 144 miles. We have just over 1,100 miles to go.

I am now running the morning SSB net and another boat is running the evening net. In the morning we have 4 other boats call in and in the evening an additional 2 join in. The propagation is very variable and sometimes it's only just possible to get a boat's position, but on a good day it's good to chat and find out how everyone else is getting on. Most of the others skipped Ascension or also went to FdN, and so are much closer the coast, the nearest boat to us being about 350 miles away. All but one are stopping along the coast in French Guyana and the one that isn't is heading for Tobago. So we're going the furthest, really so we can catch up time and have a couple of weeks in one place before moving on again.

Since the invention (?) of wraps with dates that last months, there's no real need to bake bread anymore. However, it is nice to have now and again and a fresh loaf has just come out the oven. Hope it tastes as good as it looks!

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