Heading West.....

Chelone's travels.....
John and Susie Blair.
Wed 28 Nov 2012 10:11
N22:00.00    W25:34.00
Wednesday 28th November, can you believe it's seven days since we left Lanzarote! Given fair winds we can sail just over a thousand miles a week so around three weeks to make the 3000 mile trip across to Barbados.We hope to make our landfall somewhere around 14th December but who knows what the winds have in store for us yet, I've been monitoring the trade winds for the crossing between 14 and 22 degrees Latitude over the past few weeks and conditions have been light so we're doing well so far.
Yesterday we had our first sighting of a Turtle. Susie spotted it basking on the surface and we came about to take a closer look. In fairly calm conditions we got to within a few feet of it and Ross took some great pictures before sailing on. There are still some birds flying around, Sooty Shearwaters and Storm Petrels glide and wheel over the sea, their wings seemingly skimming the waves, where do they sleep I wonder?
Hey, good job we left the Canary Islands when we did or else we'd have been delayed and lost a week due to that bad weather I mentioned before. Apparently the ARC sailors were unable to leave until yesteday due to severe gales though we heard that the hardcore bigger racing yachts did make a go of it. We've been motor sailing in light winds which gave us a chance to repair the tear in the Genoa (Headsail) yesterday. Susie, myself and Louise took up needle and thread and sat around the saloon table sewing before hauling it back up through the overhead saloon hatch where Martin, Ross and myself re-hoisted it.
The weather is roasting hot so we're sunbathing on deck a lot now and presently there's a lovely bright full moon to keep watchkeepers company through the night. Still no luck with the fishing line but soon the flying fish will be flying up onto our decks so we'll at least have some fresh fish that way!.
Our SSB radio check in with 'Herb' is the highlight of our evening. His valuable advice tallies with our own interpretation of the weather charts that we download via the internet (Grib files via Sat phone) and Weatherfax (via SSB radio). Normally we would still be sailing South West, plunging down to around 14 degrees latitude in order to tap into reliable tradewinds but there's very little wind down there at present so we must stay at a lofty 22 degrees for now though eventually we'll want to sail South as Barbados is at 13 degrees (or else we'll make landfall in the Bahamas!). Herb said last night that we can expect to see the wind increase and veer to 15knts North Easterly by East so we're looking forward to that today.
As I write, all crew are asleep, the sun is making an appearance into a cloudless sky at Chelone's stern, so it looks to be another scorcher, I think I'll fill the oven with part baked rolls then we can have hot smoked bacon rolls with a fried egg in for brekkie....oooh yes!
Bye for now,  JB.