Wed 1 Jun 2011 15:51
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 four days.
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.