Atlantic Crossing Day 13

Mark & Sue Owen
Fri 3 Feb 2012 13:20
14:31.16N 40:02.65W
Miles travelled in the last 24 hours: 142
Miles logged since leaving the Canaries: 1,812
Miles to go to Barbados: 1,131

All is well on board and we're still enjoying classic trade wind conditions
with comfortable 2 metre following seas. We find the direction of the swell
has more impact on comfort levels than its height and we'd be very happy if
these conditions were to continue.

With these consistent winds our sail configuration has remained unchanged
for several days. We've only needed to furl/unfurl the head sail as
variations in wind strengths have dictated, opting for a more conservative,
reduced sail plan overnight. Our light airs sails - Spinnaker and Multi
Purpose Genoa (MPG) - have so far remained in their sail bags, but we fully
expect to have a need for them some time during this trip.

Another bonus of the consistent winds is that our wind vane steering doesn't
require constant adjustment. Our Hydrovane steers a set angle to the wind
and any changes in wind direction changes our course accordingly. We have
long been delighted with how this performs for us and really do consider it
to be an essential piece of equipment. It's like having a fulltime helmsman
on board who doesn't eat or sleep.

The old boating adage 'One hand for yourself and one hand for the boat' has
never been more apt when attempting today's challenge. We were determined
to treat ourselves to some freshly baked Date & Walnut Banana muffins. Land
based prep time of 10 minutes; offshore (one-handed, at a 45 degree angle
and occasional 'galley whomper') prep time: 1 hour, including several
bruises and numerous expletives. It was worth the hassle, though. The end
result was delicious and somehow tasted better than usual...