sailing this way and that way

Dave & Becky Werrett
Fri 12 Dec 2008 08:17
Position  14.02N 56.45W
December 11th
Well after a night that kept most of us awake, today turned out OK! As I was writing last nights blog the winds picked up and a squall blew in, I raised Dave W & Sam from sleep and all were on the foredeck with lifejackets & safety harnesses within 2 minutes in order to get the cruising chute down - that's what a slick team we have become.... It took a bit of doing as the wind was gusting 20knts by that time but we got it sorted and put the white sails up. Unfortunately the wind was right behind us and the boat does not sail well in that postition, the sails flog as wind gets behind them and it puts a huge strain on the rig - so we decided to sail at an angle for a few hours and then tack in the opposite direction. Because the computer and nav software wasn't on (they use too much power!) - we weren't able to see how far off course we were going so we probably lost about 25 miles over night simply by zigzagging along our route. 1000 miles ago that wouldn't have been an issue but now every mile counts! We still managed to clock up a 150 mile day however, but we did lose ground over some of the others we have remained well ahead of - not that we are competitive or anything, but we have been coming 3rd in our class¬! Not bad for a heavy old girl.
This morning we goosewinged the sails with (in my opionion) disastous effects, we rolled so badly that the windows either side iof the boat went in the water continually, the dog was stressed, the last of my mugs got smashed and I had a strop! I was in serious danger of spirally downwards, I don't understand it but there is something about putting sails out on each side of the boat that causes the roll, particularily in large atlantic swell. I complained to the boys but they said I had no choice if we wanted to stick to our route! Well after several hours of everyone clinging on for dear life, even they had had enough! Jordan attempted to make pancakes - but after mixing the batter - he put the first cup in the frying pan, the boat pitched and the whole galley got covered in 2 pints of pancake batter! With no water to clean up - I was not amused... realising I was probably quite close to the edge - we agreed to take in the sails and put out the chute again - heaven, a small swell but nothing we couldn't manage.
Supper turned up at around the usual time and a fray bentos moment was once again narrowlly avoided. Dave caught a large dorado at sunset, it was so big we felt bad about keeping it, in the end we took fillets from one side and tossed the rest back for the little fishes - without a fridge it just doen't keep well - the day before we had emptied a stinking box of sushi I had prepared overboard - I thought it would be OK preserved in Lime juice. We then all sat fantasising about what we are going to order as soon as we get to a restaurant... and all of us decided we'd be giving fish a miss for a month or two!
Well - we now have less than 250 miles to go and we are fairly confident we will be in on saturday night, so I think tomorrow we will start getting the boat as presentable as we can and the kids want to tie balloons etc to the rails. We have heard that every time a boat arives now the otherboats sound their horns etc So we are all getting very excited about the prospect. It's been quite a journey for us all.