On Passage to Bermuda - 24 May

Wed 24 May 2006 20:08
Last night we sat in the cockpit eating the wahoo and watching lightening flashing around us and some ominous clouds approaching.  These brought nothing more than rain, which fell, as usual, on Geoff during his watch.  Juliet took over from Geoff at midnight, and noted that the rain and lightening stopped immediately, the sky cleared and it was a beautiful night, although rather windless.  We motored for a few hours before a gentle westerly filled in, flattening the sea.  We are still enjoying the same breeze 12 hours later, as we continue to head north.  Our run over the 24 hours to midday today (Caribbean time) was 140 miles.  As I write there are 430 miles to go, making us just over half way between St Maarten and Bermuda.  We are not in a rush, and are enjoying the sail immensely.  Charlie even put in a reef so we could have the boat flat for lunch today!
This morning we managed to tune our new SSB radio into the 9am radio net that many of our friends on other boats participate in.  This was a source of much interesting information, as most of the boats are now at sea, on passage to Bermuda or the Azores.  We heard from our Swedish friends on Regina that they have seen sperm whales close up - in fact a little too close for comfort.  One dived under their boat and the depth sounder suddenly registered a reading of 2 metres.  Our friends on Blase had a full blown thunder storm last night, with thunder and lightening striking all around them for several hours.  They were not hit and are fine, other than being very tired.  We also heard that there has been some kind of tidal/big wave in Antigua, although we do not have any details.
Mid-morning we found that a heavy duty fishing line was caught under the boat.  This had obviously been lying in the water and we sailed over it.  Charlie managed to free it by leaning over the side with the boathook, and fortunately it had not gone around the prop. 
Geoff with part of the disentangled line
We continue heading towards Bermuda; currently the speed over the ground is around 7.5 knots under full mainsail and genoa, with a westerly force 3-4.