Atlantic crossing, day 6

S/V Goldcrest
David & Lindsay Inwood
Thu 20 Dec 2012 12:00

After a couple of gentler days we are back into rougher and very rolly conditions.  The forecast is for several days of very light winds, but last night was anything but, with sustained winds into the low 20s of knots, forcing us to reef in the middle of the night to control the high speed surfing & rolling.  Today’s forecast also claims we’re in for a very slow long weekend, but we’re not sure whether to believe it.  We are in daily radio contact with a couple of other boats, one a day ahead and one a day behind.  We are all getting the same forecast but we seem to be experiencing much stronger winds.  To make up for that, they are both are catching good sized fish regularly, but my 3 days of efforts have resulted in nothing but a tangled fishing line.


The sun is seriously hot though, with the sea temperature now just over 26C and warm breezes blowing down the companionway day and night.  We’re not any further south so we guess winds coming off the cooler African continent must have kept us cooler at the start.


We’ve had a problem with the autopilot which loudly and frequently tells us the wind has changed direction, when most of the time it plainly hasn’t.  With guidance from the supplier in the UK, we’ve adjusted a few settings and hope that tonight we will be at peace from a racket which stops us both sleeping (not that the rolling would allow us much anyway).


In Lindsay’s absence (just snoozing) I must report that we are still eating like kings.  Last night we had a magnificent tuna bake (she shamed me by opening a can).  L is a bit worried about stocks of fresh veg & fruit, but I’m pretty sure there will be more than enough to eat amongst the ton of provisions weighing down one side of the boat!


We passed the 1/3rd way point yesterday midday and have now done 866 miles with 1265 still to go.  A few more hours and we will beat our longest ever previous trip.  We still are aiming for Antigua, despite what our track might look like on Google Earth (something to do with great circle routes).  The very light winds in the forecast are on the direct line so we are staying as far south of track as we can given our sail configuration (wing on wing still).  On half of our six days so far we have done more than 150nm but two very slow days of 130nm have dragged the average down.  I’ve just bored myself to sleep, so enough of this.