When the wind blows!!

Paul Huntley
Wed 10 Dec 2008 11:53

15:24.53N 45:35.59W

Wednesday 10th December 2008

Good morning its 11:00 am your time and 09:00 am our time, We have now crossed longitude 45 degree West and the ships clocks have gone back another hour, so now we are two hours behind U.T.C.

In yesterdays blog I might have mentioned that the Atlantic weather forecast shows the Azores High re-establishing itself to our north. We are way down at 15 degrees north and the high's rotate in a clockwise direction, so are picking up the east winds on the southern sector. These are the prevailing winds at this time of the year and are known as the "trade winds." We had lost them for more than a week with the calms and squalls taking their place.

As these winds came in yesterday afternoon we had a spinnaker run for more than six hours giving us a speed in excess of six knots most of the time, It is too dangerous to keep this sail up at night because of the risk of unseen squalls approaching in darkness, so we revert to our trusted twin rig, a pair of Genoas poled out each side, This configuration is a common downwind rig but not often seen in more northern latitudes. It is extremely powerful, but we pay the price in chafe (wear) which has to be monitored regularly.

My watch had the breakfast to make, which is not easy in a boat rolling 30 degrees each way, fortitude wins over in the end as does cussing every seventh wave! The big roll, we managed ceareals, followed by bacon and egg rolls and a cuppa tea. 

Bob has been trying his hand a fishing again, I have to report with little sucess, in fact he has not had a bite.

James has been busy studying the text books on celestial navigation and practising the exercises, the time is fast approaching when we will have to get the Sextant (sun gun) out and do some real navigation. The G.P.S. has made us all very lazy. We will try a sun sight at noon and see how we get on.

With less than a thousand miles to run to St Lucia, the anticipation of land fall is growing; we are beginning to hallucinate about cold beer and steak! Our route has taken us further south than normal, looking for those illusive trade winds ,we have run 2014 miles to date and have  984 nm to go, which will make our passage about 3000 nm, our rhum line route was 2700nm.

Well the radio schedule is upon us yet again, so will keep you posted with more tomorrow.

Best wishes and love to all at home.