Bowling along in the Trade Winds
Well, more like ambling along really. Other people seem to spend ages agonising over whether the weather is right, some to the extreme of never actually leaving. Unless it is obviously bad weather or flat calm, we tend to leave when we are ready and take it as it comes. On this occasion we are in light but steady NE trades and ambling along at an average of 4 knots. This is quite acceptable and pleasant if not very fast sailing.
However the skies have been overcast and the breeze a remarkably cool 18 degrees C. Remarkable in that we are off the coast of Mauritania and will enter the Tropics in a couple of days time!
The twin headsail system is working a treat. After two or three hours experimentation and making sure we could get the sails in and out efficiently we have been using it for the last three days. It is very balance and the wind vane self steering coped even when we were crawling along at 2 knots.
Another success is that because of the overcast skies we deployed our 'towgen' which is being towed behind us, generating more electricity than we use and therefore topping up our batteries.
We spotted two turtles. The second one appeared to be surfing a plastic fish crate. Unfortunately by the time we realised that it had a rear flipper trapped in the crate it was disappearing out of sight. Kath and I are resolved that if we see something like is in future we will be more 'switched in', treat it as a man overboard incident and do everything possible to get back to and help the creature concerned.
On a more positive note we had a lovely encounter with a large pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins. They swam around Caramor, surfed her bow wave (we were doing 6 knots at that point), and leaped high out of the water to land on their sides with a big splash.
Must go, the sun has just come out. Hurrah!
Caramor at sea