03 Dec - Day 17 Position at 16.00 hrs 19:49.075N 047:55.456W

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Mon 3 Dec 2007 21:25
Day 17 Distance to Antigua  806 nm (nautical miles).

Distance covered since yesterday at 16.00 - 114 nm. Average speed over 24 hrs =  4.75 kts

Ok - my turn.  Have left the blog writing to Jon as he's so good at it, plus I get a little queasy down below normally.  Anyway, have def got my sea legs now so here goes. Oh, and apparently a certain pal of mine, no names, wants to have a 'bird's eye view'! Haha. How could I resist.  Here goes Pip.  Oops!

Well, as Jon mentioned yesterday we had a pretty miserable day apart from the fishing (by the way, just to put the record straight, I seem to remember Jon not being too interested in fishing until I started reeling them in over the last year - all 3 of them!) but the night wasn't so bad even though we still had to motorsail the whole night. Guess what we had for dinner?!?!? Delish - only another 8 meals to go!  Anyway,  my watch started at 9pm in total darkness and I mean total.  No stars, no moon no horizon couldn't even see the sea slapping against the hull when I peered over the side.  Deep breath, try not to panic! I just listened to my 'Learn to Speak Spanish' recording on my ipod.  That takes your mind off everything else I promise you.  Ever heard of Michel Thomas?!?!?  He's something special. 

Jon took over at 12 (Phil has the night off) by which time we had thousands of stars and a partial moon.  A bit of light at last to guide our way.  Trouble was, we could also see lightening on the horizon to starboard.  Scary stuff.  You really don't want to get near a lightening storm when you have this very long metal pole sticking up into the sky.  Luckily it stayed on the horizon and caused us no problems. Quite spectacular to watch whenyou know you're not in its path. I went down for my kip and left the boat in Jon's capable hands.

The only problem we encountered late yesterday afternoon was that the bolt rope, the bit that attaches the bottom of the mainsail to the boom' has popped out.  We could fix it but it's extra hassle as have to take the sail off completely and re-thread it. Just means we have one reef in the mainsail permanently now. Nothing major as we normally have one reef anyway.

So, back on watch at 3am for my last shift.  It's my fave watch.  She's mad you say.  But really, although tough getting up, you just can't beat watching the sky getting slowly lighter and lighter with the sunrise, especially when it's been a rough night.  Nothing seems quite as bad when in daylight. This morning was particularly idyllic.  We had no wind and no waves (not good) and the ocean was a mill pond (see photo) but what a great morning; the colours with the sunrise were stunning; all oranges and pinks on a blue background. Lovely. It has made a nice change from the squalls and the constant rockin' n rollin' plus it's given my bruises a chance to go down.  My legs are black and blue from bumping around below and no I haven't been drinking!! It also get's very tiring constantly bracing yourself against the motion. Very different from anything I've experienced before. Sometimes it's impossible to do anything except sit around. Nice.  Luckily no sea sickness, so one less thing to worry about.

Jon got up at 6.30am and we've spent the rest of the day motorsailing as still not much wind.  Later on, the wind started to fill in.  Yippee.  The wind is just forward of the beam so let's put the cruising chute up.  We gave up after about half an hour when the wind died down again but managed to get a piccie with it working albeit very briefly!  Hey ho. Next time....

So, the rest of the day has been spent doing the chores (washing up, refuelling with diesel from the Jerry cans, breakfast, admiring the fish fillets now frozen against the cold plate in the fridge, clearing last nights flying fish from the deck etc) and generally chilling out. It's been very, very hot today so we decided to have a cockpit shower with buckets of sea water.  Great fun and very refreshing.  We used the shower gel/shampoo I bought at the boat show which is specially for use with salt water and then rinsed off with fresh.  Still using our water sparingly although we've only used one full tank (150 litres).  The 250 litre tank is over half full and we've filled the empty 150 litre tank with the spare water from our flexi tank held in the bilges. Did you get all that?!?!  What a busy day.  Just a shame we haven't made much of a dent in the daily mileage.  The good news is that the forecast for tomorrow is increased winds, back to behaving like trade winds and coming from the East.  Can you believe that we've been pretty much beating for the last day or so!!!  Fingers crossed the forecast comes true and we'll be in Antigua by the weekend/early next week, although probably not Saturday morning as we had hoped.  We'll see.  The first Blue Water Rally Boat is expecting to arrive in Antigua tomorrow but then she is 60 foot long and we are only 39 so to be expected.

Well that's it for now.
 Sam & Jon & Phil

(First it's the rod now it's the blog. Where's it all gonna end???? - Jon)

Dead Calm