Ascension Northwards - Day Eighteen 09 17.755N 049 41.148W

Mike and Liz Downing
Thu 1 May 2014 20:16
Apart from just one huge flash of lightning that lit up the sky last night for what seemed an age, the weather's been good and the winds pretty good too. A little light this morning, but that enabled the windward pole to go out and with 3 sails partly set we maintained a good speed, making a noon-to-noon run of 143 miles (so the 150-miles-a-day run remains elusive!).

Had to do some routing refinement this morning as there's a big rock in the way on our current course - it's called Barbados! We would have passed less than a mile from the seafront in Bridgetown and thought that was unnecessarily close! With a couple more waypoints added, we should miss it by 8 miles or so now. It's one of those islands we always seem to sail past. Having passed it by to the north twice before, we should pass it to the south this time. It's low-lying, so it will be interesting to see how much of it we will see. The previous times we've passed it, it's been well over the horizon, so actually we've never seen it before. According to all we've read it doesn't have the same level of yachting facilities as the other islands, and being to windward of the main chain of islands by 80 miles or so, not many take the trip out there.

Last night was a bad night for flying fish - had to throw 6 overboard from the deck this morning (all but one quite small, before someone says we should have them for breakfast!). It was a good night for dolphins as they paid a visit after dark. We haven't seen them since St Helena and could hear them blow and see their shadows in the star light (still no moon of any consequence for a few days). With a good level of phosphorescence they sent shafts of sparkling light in all directions as they broke the surface. It was lovely to see.

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