Atlantic Crossing Day 10

Mark & Sue Owen
Tue 31 Jan 2012 13:54
16:08.68N 32:53.12W
Miles travelled in the last 24 hours: 146
Miles logged since leaving the Canaries: 1,351
Miles to go to Barbados: 1,551

All is well on board and we're now in the Trade-wind belt, steadily ticking off the miles, helped also by the favourable North Equatorial current.

The high pressure system established to the north of us is providing us with building ENE winds and a 1-2 metre swell from astern. Winds are presently a steady 20 knots and due to increase later in the day, so we've shortened sail in readiness and are trucking along nicely with 2 reefs in the mainsail and 1 in the yankee (headsail) set in a goosewing configuration. It never ceases to amaze us how often we find there's no significant loss of boat speed after reefing (Note to selves: Must reef earlier and more often!).

At first light we found the deck littered with Flying fish - 6 in all and fortunately none in the cockpit, much to the relief of the second in command who would not have appreciated high speed projectiles coming at her out of the inky blackness. These fish, in escaping their predators, take flight and can be airborne for several hundred metres at a time. Every now and again Macushla seems to disturb whole shoals of them which take flight en masse and it's quite a spectacle. Flying fish sandwiches are supposed to be a speciality of Barbados, but they don't look very appetising. Fortunately we've more than enough mahi mahi on board to be even remotely tempted.

To supplement our fresh food supplies we've started to propagate our sprouting beans and seeds (mung beans and alfalfa) and look forward to a good crop within 3 days. They are so easy to grow and make a great addition to salads, sandwiches and stir fries.

Having progressed a further 15 degrees west, we've once again adjusted boat time back another hour from GMT. Skipper generously resisted the temptation to do this during his off-watch period which would have given him an extra hour's sleep.