This is not what it said in the brochure! A nice downwind sail in the
trade winds I seem to remember it said.
Since last night we have been banging into a headwind right on the nose
and were not even pointing at Antigua. If we continue on this course
for 3 weeks, we'll more likely end up in New York or Nova Scotia. Do
they serve rum punches there?
At 20.30 hrs last night we tacked away from the African coast and headed
west on a course of 288 deg. About the best we could make with the wind
from the south west. The alternative was to keep running down the
African coast of Mauritania towards the Cape Verdes but that would be
putting us too far east.
Two exciting incidents in the night. Firstly, we had heard a report on
the VHF from one of the other Rally boats of a large metal object in the
water. About 2 meters across. I took the position and entered it on the
chart plotter. Oh great, we are heading roughly for it and should be
there in 2 hours when it will be dark. I set a course to leave it to the
west of us as I figured it would be drifting west with the prevailing
current. It's disconcerting to know there is something floating about
but you don't know quite where.
Next, the AIS radar showed a merchant ship coming our way and it was
going to be close. Like the last time, I called him up and asked what
his intentions were. He nonchantly told me he would be going round our
stern and the AIS duly showed him changing course by just 4 degrees.
By now the wind had increased and at least we could turn off the engine
and sail, albeit in the wrong direction. The rest of the night was
uneventful if somewhat bumpy as the wind was beginning to knock up a swell.
The day dawned bright and sunny with a brisk 15 kts of breeze and we are
heeled over to an angle that sees us staggering about like drunkards as
we reach for handholds. I have had to start peeing like a girl 'cos I
can't do it standing up. I'll have to give that up when I get to New York!
Our nice friends in the weather forecasting office tell us its a blip
and in another day or two (ha ha) the wind will swing round and go back
to it's usual habit in these parts of blowing from the NE. Roll on
Thursday I say.
No picture today I'm afraid. The camera won't keep still. Better luck
tomorrow. Oh and you know about these big fish you are supposed to be
able to catch in the Atlantic? Well, they've either emigrated or we're
using the wrong bait!
Jon and Sam
PS - Thanks cousin Ian for your text, good to hear from you. Hope you
and Roz are keeping well and looking forward to the big day. - Sam