Thu 9 Feb 2012 13:58
1200 UT Thursday, 9 Feb
We’ve just had a couple of superb days with the spinnaker up from dawn to dusk making great progress. Our 24 hour run to midday (UT) 8 Feb was a record 170 miles. All this in a moderate sea and a very pleasant and easy ride down wind. At night we reluctantly drop the spi and hoist the genoa as a safety measure but it’s a shame not to take advantage of the conditions (and to lose speed).
Things not quite so perfect now. A squall came through during the second night watch (Liz and Bungles) but they reefed down and rode it out. This morning there is more rain about but we haven’t been dumped on (yet). The spi went up but came down at 1310 (UT) due to lack of wind! So the donkey is back at work and we might try fishing again.
No sooner had a files my report about there be nothing out there when a sailing yacht appeared during the night of 7/8 Feb (Liz and Michael on watch). It first made its presence felt as a blip on our radar detector and then came into view showing a white light, passing from right to left. Amazingly we were overtaking this vessel. Elizabeth hailed them on the VHF and learned that she was the S/Y Spindrift, on passage from Las Palmas to St Martin. A single-handed dutchman on board, he had been at sea for three and a half weeks (already) and Elizabeth was the first person he has spoken to in all that time! Later that day we were able to “see” a merchant ship on our AIS detector, range 12 miles and out of sight. Seems like there is some traffic about as we get closer to land.
300 miles to go. Bets have been placed on the first to sight land, the hour of arrival, etc. Still lots of uncertainties, but chances are that we should be anchored in Anguilla by Saturday evening.