Atlantic crossing, midway, day 8

S/V Goldcrest
David & Lindsay Inwood
Sat 22 Dec 2012 12:00

Last night at 03:12 a.m. we passed the half-way point with 1067nm travelled since leaving the Cape Verdes, 7 days and 15hrs previously.  I’d like to say we passed it in style, all sails flying, but the sad truth is that we lost the wind yesterday afternoon and have been motoring in flat calm seas and 4-5kts of wind.  The “flat calm” is interesting out here; without any wind-created waves we get to see the underlying swell, which right now rears up to 3m from the highest peak to the lowest trough with the waves passing every 15seconds or so, lifting us lazily out of their way.


We got out the big red gennaker yesterday afternoon and sailed it nicely for nearly 6 hours, another record for us.  It started off in a nightmare mess from when it was last put away, but looked very pretty once the knots & wraps had been untangled.


I can also claim to have caught two fish at last.  You might insist I have to land them before I can claim to have caught them, but I still feel a sense of progress.  The first, about a foot long, jumped off the hook as I was about to grab him, the second ran away with all our line and the lure after a few seconds of the line screaming out.  I guess he must have been pretty big, certainly way more than our 30kg line could take.  Lindsay says I have to fess up to the fact that I left #1 on the line for a few minutes whilst I finished a cup of tea.  I mean, you’ve got to have the right priorities, no?


As we switched on the engine yesterday we were joined by the largest group of dolphins we’ve ever seen.  Dozens of them converged from every direction, seemingly their interest attracted by our engine noise and rushing towards us with acrobatic leaps.  They played in our bow wave for a while before quietly slipping away. 


So we’ve been sweltering in very gentle conditions for a few days now.  We’ve both burnt a little and are very grateful for the shelter our deck saloon gives us.  It is warm below, but nothing like as hot as we feared, so proving a boon at both ends of the weather spectrum experienced so far.


We’re motoring well south of the direct line now in an attempt to find some wind.  The other two boats crossing with us are a bit further south and both have a bit more wind than us, but are also motoring.  The forecast says the wind will start filling in from the south, so fingers crossed for tonight or tomorrow morning.  Having got the gennaker sorted we have a new downwind sail combo to try out – can’t wait!