Lilli Mae, On the way home - Leg 4 - The Big One - Update 1st December 19

Lilli Mae
Sun 1 Dec 2019 07:04
Hi Everyone, I think I might have already said we found the wind. At this moment the sun is just rising and we are cruising along at 6 knots. It got a bit too blowy last night so we decided to reef the sail so it was a little more comfortable. Our current estimates suggest we will cover the 2100 miles to St Lucia in another 14 days. This will have us arriving on about the 14 or 16 December. We are now close to our intermediate objective; our current position is 21 DEG 13 N. We are targeting to get to 20 DEG N (latitude). We are about 200 miles NNW of the Cape Verde Islands and we are now routing more westerly on the basis that we have now got more consistent wind. We still need to get to 13 DEG N but the weather routing guidance we got yesterday suggested now is a good time to head west.
In the day the weather is great. It did threaten to rain last night but in the end we got a few spots and not much else. We have had cloudless days and yesterday it got so hot in the morning we had to put the bimini up for shade. The evenings are warm but we still have to put on some additional clothing when it gets dark. We have been sailing with our "white" sails which means that over the last few days we have not had a lot work to do at night taking down and changing our sails. We have been lucky with the sea state which has generally been "calm" or "slight". Last night it kicked up a bit and Mike indicated in the log on his watch the sea state was "moderate".
Yesterday was the first day that we have really had time to laze around and relax. Peter has been doing his exercises and reading about his (future) boat. Mike was cleaning his shoes. Not sure if he is planning on going out tonight but there aren't many places to go 'round hereWinking smile emoticon. I have been practising navigation work. So all-in-all yesterday we have been doing our own independent thing.
We are settling into a routine now. We are on 4 hour watches which means we are all getting a reasonable amount of sleep. Peter has the watch from 0100 to 0500 which he seems to enjoy! Mike is on from 2100 to 0100 and I am on from 0500 to 0900. During the day we rotate the same 4 hour fixed watch cycle. It seems to be working and it does mean we can all settle down to a routine of rest. Every 15 degrees we go west and change the boat time by 1 hour and someone has to do a 5 hour watch. I think I got the best deal given that I get to see all the sunrises. This will of course change as we get further west. The nights are really long; it get dark at about 1830 GMT and if it is cloudy and no moon it is really eerie. The sun rises at about 0700 GMT so we get almost full 12 hours of dark. So after dinner which is now normally at about 6 PM (boat time) everybody is thinking about going to bed and resting for their watch. Except for me.......I am on watch!
We caught sight of one boat about 15 miles away but that is it. A few dolphins came along with us for a while but they didn't stay too long.
The one that got away
The rare glimpse of the moon
Sunrise ....going west
I found some pictures that I thought I would share. As you can imagine there is often not much to see and therefore nothing much of interest to photograph. Maybe these give a feel for what it is like. We did catch a fish....but then it got away!
Anyway that's all for now. Hopefully everyone is in good form. Will catch-up in a few days.
Crew on Lilli Mae