Nearly there - Thursday 11th
We had blue skies on Tuesday up to 8.0pm when we were hit by 2 big squalls. The first lasted for an hour then we had 20 mins respite before another 40 minutes. The squalls brought torrential rain, which I thought was a bit like sleet and very high wind gusts – 30-40knots. The gusts were however in the same direction as between gusts so we managed to keep sailing with heavily reefed twin headsails, and we were still doing 7-8 knots. Oscar couldn’t cope with the gusts so I had 2 hours of heavy steering – not a good start to the night.
The rest of the night was a complete contrast as the skies cleared. The moon came out and it was very pleasant. This continued until 8.0pm on Wednesday when the wind died and we had to motor and hand steer again. We were concerned that this could continue through the night, however the wind picked up at 10 pm and we were able to sail with Oscar taking over the steering. Since then the course has been a little erratic at times but we have continued to have good sailing (as of 2.0 pm Thursday). It is real trade wind sailing with blue skies, sunshine and good steady wind.
The seas have been pretty rolly so we have had to wedge ourselves into the bink with lots of pillows/cushions. It is amazing how you get used to the conditions and manage to sleep quite well.
We must be getting close to land as we have seen an increasing number of cargo boats on the AIS.
We now have just under 400 miles to go and as we are doing at least 130 miles a day, we are pretty certain to arrive early Sunday. We still have 560 litres of diesel and are hopeful of arriving with most of that intact.
We ran the watermaker on Wednesday for the first time since the overhaul/upgrade, it worked perfectly and we have it on again now. We can only run it for a few hours in the afternoon when we get sufficient charging from the solar panels to meet the 8 amps it uses. We plan to make all our water from now on and have sufficient that we can relax about how much we are using for showers etc. We have tasted the water and it tastes fine so we will not need to keep buying bottled water.