celebrated at 5.00 pm this afternoon with cans of cheap Spanish lager on
reaching the half way mark. We had previously passed the 1000 mile run point
almost to the minute on 7 days from leaving the Cape Verdes. As I write this we
are about to pass the 1000 miles to go mark. The total distance being about 2040
miles altogether, so 3 minor milestones in one day.
have continued good speed all day and our average for the whole passage is now 6
knots. Based on the positions being reported by an Australian boat ahead of us
named Attitudes we are gradually catching them up. When we left the Cape Verdes
they were 185 miles ahead, now they are only 75.
wind has gradually eased during the day and is now down to about 12 knots which
is very pleasant for us. We can make our best speed but with less of the rock
and roll that is a feature of downwind sailing with this rig. We are sailing
wing and wing with our furling genny out one side and an excellent smaller sail
that I bought at the Beaulieu boat jumble for a tenner on the other side. I
managed to break the extending spinnaker pole (I bought at the same jumble) last
night by failing to rig a foreguy, and in a big surge the pole slipped down the
sheet so that it was against the shrouds. When the wind filled the sail again,
it bent it in half... a costly mistake, but we are now using the main boom
pinned right out as a pole and the thin whisker pole on the other side. It works
Hopefully the wind will hold but Herb does not give us much hope for the
next few days so we may be using the cruising chute soon ...or even the engine.
So far we have not had to motor at all. The batteries stay fully charged as a
result of the towed generator. In fact during the day with the solar panels
working as well, we produce spare power that we need to use up or we could
damage the batteries. However, the water maker uses this energy up so we may
well end up arriving in Barbados with full water tanks! The water it produces is
far better than the stuff we loaded in the Cape Verdes which we dosed with
chlorine for safety sake. It is one of the long distance sailor's nightmares to
find the only water on board is making him or her ill...so we could not take the
risk especially after my nasty bout of Cape Verde tummy.
events of the day were sea bath time with the total body warm air drier that
follows us wherever we are, photos of which do not look as if they will get past
the censor, and a game called Turbine Wrap.
Turbine Wrap is a game very similar to one we invented years ago called
Walker Log Wrap. The idea is to see how long it takes to untangle the mess when
the spinning log line fouls the fishing line. I believe our record was about 2
hours. However, we do not use a Walker log any more ( although I do have the
very same one tucked away for emergency use, just in case we need reminding of
the fun). In the meantime we have raised the stakes. Now instead of a small
gently rotating spinner we have a 3 kilo turbine able to produce prodigious
amounts of power, and requiring the boat to be brought to a standstill to bring
in . Today I invented Turbine Wrap.
needed to bring the turbine in as it had surfed down one too many waves and
managed to twist itself around its own rope. Once the difficult process of
retrieving it was accomplished it was a simple matter of untwisting 3 or 4 turns
and then throwing the spinner back in. As I threw the turbine I knew I had put
it in the wrong side of the fishing line that adorns our wake with a pretty lure
that the fish of the North Atlantic find offensive. (The fact that we never
catch a fish may have something to do with the 3 foot long black fish with the
viciously spinning tail that follows us everywhere called turbine
tangle took us the best part of an hour and a half to undo...and people say how
do you fill your days.