180nm in 24h

Gudrun V
Axel Busch
Thu 10 Feb 2011 12:07
Day 6, Thursday, 10.02.2011, 12:00 UTC, 20:19.06N 23:26.8W

Yesterday afternoon and this morning I made very good speed towards west, 7-10kn in 10-20kn of Wind from north-east. During the night the wind dropped to around 12kn and I took the mainsail down for safety because clouds were coming up and I needed to get some sleep.

I had been very busy yesterday looking after the boat and didnât manage to sleep during the day at all. The current tack and speed also don't lend themselves to sleeping until Iâm very tired, because the boat is moving a lot and I havenât figured out yet how to catch some quality sleep in the saloon on a port tack. My berth is on the starboard side and I donât like hanging in the lee cloth. And outside is too wet, a lot of spray. Well, I have two more weeks to try different things I guess.

Fortunately the wind-vane does a reasonably good job a the tiller and I don't have to have a constant eye on it. Being a wind-vane itâs very sensitive to gusts, which change the angle under which the wind is perceived. But it usually stays within 20Â of the set course even in stronger gusts or waves. As a result of that veering my speed (and heel) varies a lot and I'm covering some extra miles. But in order to deactivate the wind-vane I would to take the servo-rudder off. That is quite an operation, especially because it has to be undertaken outside of the boat on the little bathing platform. With both hands under water and feet in the air. Nope, I donât want to do this unless necessary, so the wind-vane is supreme commander of the tiller at all times and I'm happy with the result and do all the other stuff. Like trimming the sails and keeping watch.

Although there isnât much to watch. I havenât seen a boat, bird or fish in two days I think. And according to the radar detector no other boat has seen me, or it would have beeped. It does beep a lot when I use the iridium phone though. Once I jumped out of bed at night as the alarm went off to look for that freighter/fisherman/tanker. But it was only a message on the phone. Veeery funny.

Energy-wise everything is fine. Chris, ex-co-owner of âMaid of Mettleâ, advised me by email that I could always connect the second panel directly to the battery if Iâm in dire need of a cool beer. Thanks Chris! But I think Iâll reserve that option for a real emergency. Iâm quite happy to wait with the beer until Iâm sitting on a beach bar in the Caribbean. Gives me really something to look forward to ;-)

Only 2260nm (4080km) to go to my destination. At my current speed it would take me only 10 days, but that is completely unrealistic. Iâm also not sure if the material would be up to it. 16 days is more likely. But it doesnât matter much, does it. âDer Weg ist das Zielâ.