All's swell 19:48:70N 26:24:20W
We have had another day's run of just over 155nm - we have been nothing if not consistent with our mileage at least!
Today has been another day of mostly Force 6 winds; usually 22-24kts and the sea state has settled into the large and long waves that we expected to see in the Atlantic which build to a towering wall of water on our stern and then pick us up and roll away at our bow. Occasionally we are still getting the odd one hitting us side on and sending us violently rolling but they are less frequent now and I would describe the sea state as less confused than we experienced yesterday. That said it really does seem to be that we get hit with a rogue wave to our beam most frequently when we have just made a hot cup of tea or are trying to perform any task at all which requires a few seconds of stability!!
We are continuing to make way under a reefed headsail only which doesn't seem to be harming our speed at all; we are consistently making over 6kts frequently hitting 7kts of speed over ground.
It has been an overcast day for us here too with more cloud cover than we have seen these last 5 days combined. For that reason it's been chilly most of the day and we have barely taken off the extra layers of fleece tops and trousers that we wear at night for more than an hour or so before wrapping back up again. We have been assured by friends who crossed the Atlantic some years back that once we reach latitude 16N the temperature will be 24 degrees celsius even at night. We have approx. 300nm to reach that latititude so I am hoping to be warm by the end of the weekend at the latest! More importantly we'd rather we didn't have too many sun-less days as we rely on our solar input to keep our on-board electrical systems topped up. We don't have much that requires power but it would be handy to keep the fridge cold and the nav lights powered up and after 5 days at sea without the engine running it would be a shame to have to start it just for the sake of putting charge into our batteries.
According to the weather forecast we will see the winds lighten quite a bit over the weekend too so IF the sea state drops with the wind we may be able to get a few things done on-board which currently don't look very appealing while we are rocking and rolling!! Simple tasks like topping up our 5 litre "working" water containers from the large 20 litre ones on deck don't really sound like an attractive proposition knowing we are likely to pitch and roll at the wrong moment and spill our precious fresh water all over the deck!
I think Meep will enjoy some flatter conditions soon too. He has been so good underway but these last couple of days he's definately been searching the boat for somewhere comfortable to settle where he won't get rolled off a seat or out of his hammock. He ventured up on deck again for an hour this afternoon and cuddled up with me on the spinnaker bag but he found the sound of the waves rushing up behind us a bit alarming and after a while decided he preferred it below decks. He's snuggled up down there now dreaming about long walks on sandy beaches!!
As for the human crew; things are generally good and spirits are a little higher today after a bit of a gloomy day yesterday. We enjoyed plenty of sleep both on and off watch last night and had plenty of rest during the day today too which makes a huge difference. I wasn't being kept awake by quite so many ghostly wailings last night either! Honestly a sailboat on a windy night with everything creaking and whining can be as spooky as any haunted house! Jamie didn't seem quite so tormented as me but I don't care - I heard what I heard and just because he didn't hear the ghostly horses neighing doesn't mean they weren't there... I wish I knew who said "there is a pleasure sure in being mad that none but madmen know" but I'll bet he sailed a mile two!