Atlantic Crossing Day 17

Mark & Sue Owen
Tue 7 Feb 2012 15:16
14:29.46N 49:41.94W
Miles travelled in the last 24 hours: 146
Miles logged since leaving the Canaries: 2,385
Miles to go to Barbados: 571

All is well on board, the sun is shining and showing the ocean at its rich,
deep blue best.

It's always pleasing when a plan comes together. We've been heading north
of the rhumb line to Barbados for the last couple of days in anticipation of
a large NNE swell which we identified on the weather charts. Said swell
has, indeed arrived and we've now jybed on to a SW course so as to take the
4 metre swell on our stern and give us the most comfortable ride possible.
Macushla continues to power along, surging down the waves as they roll
beneath her.

It's surprising how few sail changes we've needed to make in the last 2
weeks and this is the reason why we diligently check each day for signs of
chafe. Before setting off we put protective piping/leather on lines which
feed through fairleads and these have been very effective.

After 17 days at sea we've seen just one ship and one yacht far off on the
horizon, but we're in daily contact with several other yachts making the
crossing and it's always great to hear their voices. Although we're over
1,000 miles apart, just talking to fellow cruisers somehow makes us feel
we're not alone out here. We expect to see some traffic in the coming days
as we approach landfall and, if the winds continue as forecast, we hope to
be in Barbados by the weekend.

The night watches are increasingly well-illuminated as the moon fills and
tracks a longer path across the sky. It's truly like sailing with the light
on. Wonderful.