Day 15 Distance to Antigua 1054 nm (nautical miles).
Distance covered since yesterday at 16.00 - 142 nm. Average speed over
24 hrs = 5.91 kts
Our clocks went back another 2 hours today so as I write this at 13.30,
it will be 17.30 in the UK. We are now on Antiguan time! We must be
nearly there then?
The weather today has been hot and muggy with lots of cloud about. We
shook the reefs out of the main and had most of the headsail out for
most of the day. We continually play around with different combinations
trying to get the best speed and angle whilst still being prepared for a
quick reef when the squalls came past. We had a big one last night just
after it got dark. The wind suddenly shifted and increased to about 25
kts. In the pitch dark with no moon it is really difficult to keep
one's orientation and at one stage we had the wind on the nose but I
think as much as anything that was because I was wrong footed by the
sudden change. Luckily the strong wind only lasted a few minutes but
then was quickly followed by a huge downpour of rain that drove us below
for shelter. We were quite tempted to just throw our clothes off and
take the free shower. At least the deck, the sails and the ropes all
got a good wash.
Our water supply is holding up really well. The Feeling 39 has two
fixed tanks, one in the forepeak of 250 litres and one under the bunk in
the starboard aft cabin of 150 litres. In addition, I fitted an extra
flexible 200 litre tank in the saloon bilges. At the rate we are going,
we will arrive in Antigua with the extra 200 litres unused. We both
had showers yesterday to celebrate.
As I started today's blog, another squall came through and I had to rush
on deck to furl away the headsail. We now have just a small amount out
(still on the pole) and the full main up. Actually it's a good
combination but we will probably put one reef in the main before it gets
dark and roll out a bit more genoa. This gives us a good combination to
shorten sail for the squalls.
Every day, we get a weather forecast sent to us by the Blue Water Rally
office. Here is the forecast for tomorrow:
Winds: E 15 decr E 10 but ESE 10 in far west later ( higher gusts in
Seas: W: 4-6ft. E: 6-8ft
Wx: Area of heavy showers and thunderstorms west of approx 42W, a few
showers to the east.
Vis: G but M or P in showers
Looks like another muggy day with less wind than the last few days.
We are currently tracking 310 deg M but need 275 M. I was hoping for a
wind shift so we could keep the genny poled out but we are now right on
the edge of being able to do that. We may have to put the genny on the
other side and head up or we will be well north of our rhum line. We
will have the waves on the port quarter when we do that and it will be
much rollier so we'll keep that liitle joy for tomorrow.
We are now starting to calculate our arrival time in Jolly Harbour which
is right round the back of Antigua on the west coast and I want to
arrive there in daylight. At this rate, we will be off the east
Antiguan coast on Saturday morning and will then need to run past the
south coast which is safe with deep water but then we will turn north
and head up the coast to Jolly Harbour. My optimum would therefore to
be off the south east coast at daybreak which gives us all day to sail
the 20 odd miles round the island to our destination and enjoy the
scenery. How exciting is that? Get the rum punches ready BWR reception
We had the fishing line out all day today and just as we were just
finishing the quiche that Sam had made along with very cold beer (thanks
again Richard) when the line bent right over and started running out. I
immediately put the wheel over to heave too and slow us down and Sam
started playing the line. See what I mean? I think the only answer is
to buy her a rod for Christmas. After a minute or two, it jumped right
out of the water and crashed back and was gone. I was below at the time
looking for the landing net. (see, I get all the shit jobs).
I have tried to get Sam to write the blog for a day, or at least some of
it, but she just says "no, you'r so good at it and I'm so crap" so come
on girls out there, send her some encouragement and find out how the
rest of the crew are enjoying the trip.
Piccy today is sunset last night. Ahhhhh.
Til the morrow me 'earties.