Wednesday, 01.06.2011, 11:45 local (15:45 UTC), 17:45.7N, 067:28.18W (9nm
SW of Punta Aguila, Puerto Rico).
I wake up at six. The night was horrible, I can feel mossie bites all over
my body. Later I count 42 bites below my right knee alone, despite a full
covering of DET. There are even some on my butt, and one on my weener. Time to
get out of this place. I think of the people that hole up in the mangroves for
hurricane season, and wonder how they endure it.
Liz awakens with me. Surprise, she must be motivated to get going as well.
We get up, have a coffee and then start pulling up the anchor. As usual the
chain fouls up in the tube and I have to crawl underneath the bed and shake the
tube. Then we are free. It is seven, and we motor out of the bay.
Outside the bay we catch wind, as expected. 10kn from the east. We turn
into the wind and Liz hauls up the main-sail and unfurls the genoa while I take
pictures of her. I am very proud. Most sailors I know haven't sailed more than
20lm off shore or for more than a day non-stop in all their life. Liz, who is
afraid of the water, will sail with me the 1000km across the Caribbean basin for
The sails are up and we get back on course. Liz goes down to sleep again. I
start trimming the sails. The wind varies in strength from 7 to 14kn and
frequently shifts 70 degrees. I adjust the sheets, vang, outhaul and even
halyard tension to keep the speed of the boat above 7kn. The double sheet system
for the main works very well. I watch the sails and admire the work of Octavio.
These are very good sails, thanks my friend. After two hours I get tired of
climbing around the cockpit. There are simply too many lines to pull on. I
decide to trim for a beam reach in 10kn. That gives us around 6,5kn of speed
most of the time. Sometimes a knot less, sometimes a knot more. This will have
to do until the wind gets more stable. But does it ever?
Puerto Rico is out of sight. Around us only deep blue water. I like it this
way, few other boats and no obstacles to bump into. The boat roles
surprisingly much for the little wind as the waves pass underneath the boat.
They are short and steep. This reminds me more of the Mediterranean than the
Atlantic Ocean. I hope Liz doesn't get seasick. I also hope that we'll see
turtles, dolphins or whales on the way. Liz would love that. But it's not really
season, so the chances are not very high.