Day 7 Position 16:49.20N 27:25.51W Heading to the Trade winds!
Sun 1 Dec 2019 16:29
12.30 pm and Simon serves lunch - smoked salmon and cream cheese rolls.
At 13.00 hrs Gwenhyfar was hotted up (sailing a faster and higher angle, rather than nearly straight downwind) and sailed a course of 200' with 105' apparent wind creating a comfortable boat speed of 8 knots. Our preferred setting was red kite (light) full main and yellow mizzen staysail. Auto pilot set in leisure mode and set to apparent wind angle worked well for this sail plan. Gwenhyfar happily chased south in auto mode. We were now making consistent progress and moving away from the danger zone of fickle winds. Crew spent the afternoon lounging around on deck, doing crosswords, and watching dolphins dance around our bow.
18.00 hrs and Gwenhyfar gybed back onto a westerly course and changed sail plan again - down came the red kite. In a carefully executed letterbox maneuver the kite was gathered under the main boom and into the cockpit where it was packed back into its bag. The yellow funny sail and mizzen were also packed away. Up went the heavy wind lime green kite and full main. This is our night time rig - for safety , comfort and performance. The evening gybe was designed to take us straight down to our trade winds waypoint, where Colin (ground crew) was predicting that strong and favorable trade winds would push us fast through the final 2000 miles. All the wiggling south and west during the last 7 days has been designed to escape the light and fickle winds and to arrive at the predictable Trade winds latitude of 16' north.
Sundowners were accompanied by crotons and hummus and supper was a splendid Penne Bolognese. Again 5 clean plates!
Maximum wind speed during the night was 21 knots true. Gwenhyfar was often topping out at 12 knots as she surfed the waves and was consistently making 8 knots to the SSW.
At the 11.00 hrs coffee morning, the Chairman announced that some food items were becoming critical: namely the Brownies, which were now down to only 4 portions. A resolution was passed to merge the Brownies with the Millionaires cake and that the Purser secure these under lock and key in the fridge. Remaining items of fresh food - some salads and dodgy peppers were committed to the deep. After 7 days at sea our remaining fresh vegetable produce are potatoes, courgettes and butternut squash. Fruit is lasting well but we are expectedly down to 1 days worth of bananas. Unfortunately fishing, which we had hoped would supplement our diet with fresh high quality protein, has been unproductive. In the early days the water was too cold at 18- 20'. Now the sea temperature is at 25' we are in the zone of tropical fish like Dorade - but we are now sailing too fast at 9-10 knots to safely haul in a catch - it would be rather tricky now to slow our sleigh ride to land a fish! (Nor do we want too)
Happy crew on Gwenhyfar - Cloud patterns are changing, we think we detect the trades!
Days run 186 miles