The last leg 14:27:17N 58:36:52W
This is it. The very last leg. The final 150 miles! With a bit of luck tomorrow's blog should be an incoherent babble of excitable gibberish announcing our arrival into Martinique.
The strong winds began to ease a little through the night although the sea state remained uncomfortable and we continue to be slammed around when trying to make meals or move about for any reason aboard.
Breakfast this morning was interrupted with another rain squall but since then the skies have cleared considerably and through the course of today the wind has eased a little to around 18-21 kts; piping up occasionally to 25+ kts but only for short spells.
We have continued to manage our sail plan with a view to reducing Hamble Warrior's "surfing" but we still have the occasional surprise where we come off a wave side ways and find ourselves heading beam-first downwards at over 10kts. Overall though I'm pretty sure we are much more comfortable than yesterday.
Jamie cleared the decks of flying fish this morning. There were a surprising number of very tiny ones; a small school that had rather unfortunately beached themselves on our side-decks. Jamie picked the larger one and threw the others back so Meep has a little treat for later and I guess with it being Friday we will probably have some of our zero beers and a bit of a party; Friday Night Works Drinks style!
Our daily run calculated at 2pm was 162.5nm which is the second best day's run behind yesterday. Jamie has suggested that we are lighter than when we set off as we have probably consumed 350-400 litres of the water we are carrying and there will be fresh produce and other groceries and canned drinks to taking account as well so we should be making our fastest speeds now!
Yesterday was quite a low point for us; we were both so tired and the final push felt overwhelming but today we are in a totally different place; we are excited about arriving and having both had plenty of sleep last night we are coping much better with our daily routine. It's incredible how mentally challenging this has been - for both of us it has probably been the biggest undertaking of our lives and it is without trepidation that I look forward to the next stage of our adventure where we don't utter the phrase "when we cross the Atlantic" a dozen times a day. I appreciate that there will be just the barest reprieve; possibly a matter of hours before that statement is replaced with the words "when we cross the Pacific" but I shall relish it while it lasts!
We will continue to update our blog with our onward travels as frequently as possible but at this stage in our trip it feels like the right moment to express our gratitude to a few special people.
We are, of course, grateful to ALL of our friends and family that have encouraged and supported us to get to this point. Especially our closest family whom, we are sure, would much rather we'd stuck to our day jobs.
We have been able to set up and share this blog; as well as download emails from home and most importantly access up to date weather forecasts thanks to the satalite equipment that Jamie's parents kindly bought for us.
We have also carried with us a Garmin inreach phone which has not only served as a reliable back-up to our satalite phone system but also allowed us to subscribe to a texting service to exchange short messages with friends and family. This was the incredibly generous gift of our friends Laust & Monika.
Friends Nigel & Alison provided us with daily weather forecasts and suggested passage plans which have allowed us to pick the best possible route across and corroborated the forecasts that we have been downloading on-board. Their help and support goes back to long before the start of this crossing where they shared with us their wealth of first-hand experience in ocean sailing and their advice, support and enthusiasm for our trip has been utterly fabulous.
Finally my Sister Claire, Hamble Warrior's official "Head of Communications" who has not failed to keep our spirits high and keep us entertained for 21 consecutive days with her colourful emails, news and updates from home. For every word we have written she has written two. Despite balancing a business, a family AND a 25,000 a-day "step habit" she has found the time to make us howl with laughter and cheer us on when we needed it most.
Our deepest love and gratitude to you all.
"Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
- Helen Keller