Trade wind passage

Tue 5 Feb 2013 13:20
14:50.54N 39:11.95W

We're back to trade winds again, which means consistent 15 - 25 kts winds, from just North of East, sunshine and those big fluffy clouds around the horizon, the ones that try to look like animals. Perfect.

I stood on deck yesterday feeling so contented, just watching the swell, which is about 2 1/2m, come rolling along behind us, pick us up and swoosh under us. It is stunningly beautiful here; I'm sure I don't manage to convey the majesty of it. It feels like being high up on a hill fort overlooking the valleys as the sun sets, or riding high in a cable car over sparkling snow in Austria, or simply lying in the long grass with the rustling grasshoppers on a baking warm summer's afternoon. It fills all your senses and astounds you, I find myself laughing, filled with exhilaration, at the power and beauty of a breaking wave.

Yesterday morning we found the rotor for Toad had broken free, gone! But happily, we have a second so it is now securely fastened on and back generating. It sounds silly, but we left it off for quite some time waiting for the boat to slow down in order to deploy it safely, instead of going head to wind in order to slow down. There's a feeling that as she's going so well let's not disturb her. I helmed when we did eventually go head to wind and it was brilliant fun, a very different matter turning into the swell from having it running behind you!

We caught two more Mahi Mahi yesterday, however one of our lines was taken, it ran screaming out then broke off in a matter of seconds; it must have been a big one! Ben landed one of the two, his first 'big fish'. Much grinning. Again, we have as much fish as we can eat for the next few days so the lines are back in and fish is on the menu. We rang the changes with oat meal porridge for breakfast, chicken fajitas for lunch and fabada for supper, but it'll be fish sandwiches for lunch today, and baked fish for supper. Supplies are doing well, we have a melon, some kiwi and some citrus fruit still. However, my garden is the sole provider of green stuff now and we've used all the bread so I'll be baking today. We've moved on to canned butter, surprisingly nice, I thought it would be like ghee.

We've heard from Limbo, we figure they're about 20 miles from us now, we must have passed them in the night, a bit South from us. They sound cheerful, and we had a sat phone message from Tara Tari, very chirpy, doing well but telling us of the rain and having to have two reefs in the main. Phil sends out an SSB radio message every evening, updating us all on each other's whereabouts and passing on weather information.

Tomorrow morning we'll pass the half way mark, most likely half way in distance, not time, as we had those couple of days of light winds, part of me is glad to see our progress - "We're doing it!" But the other part of me is sad, it means we'll get to the end, a bit like when you're reading a good book. However, the Caribbean is a pretty good ending to look forwards to!

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