Atlantic Crossing Day 19

Mark & Sue Owen
Thu 9 Feb 2012 12:58
13:10.84N 53:45.14W
Miles travelled in the last 24 hours: 144
Miles logged since leaving the Canaries: 2,660
Miles to go to Barbados: 319

All is well on board as we continue to roll along to Barbados.

For the first time in 2 weeks the winds eased to a level that required us to shake out the reefs from Macushla's mainsail as we enjoyed 10 - 15 knot tail winds and relatively flat seas. This lull proved to be short-lived and with winds increasing to 20+ knots, Skipper was awoken from his slumber just after 11.00 p.m. to help put the reefs back in. This started a trend for the night with the weather determined to prevent him from having a decent off-watch rest.

Just after 04.00 a.m., the moon having disappeared behind increasing cloud cover, we failed to spot a squall approaching from astern. Within less than a minute the wind increased from 20 to 40 knots, accompanied by torrential rain resulting in zero visibility. Objects which had remained in place until now suddenly took flight as Macushla was pinned hard over for what seemed an age, but which was in reality only a couple of mnutes. As fast as it had started, it was over. Second in command has now stopped trembling, but is still wondering quite how her harness ended up underneath the stove...

The new day has seen the return of steady Trade winds and we're enjoying fast, controlled sailing. Below deck the rolling motion continues to present the usual challenges - even straightforward tasks like eating meals and getting dressed are that much more difficult when undertaken one-handed and require perfect balance and timing.

As we start to close in on our destination we've dug out our pilot books and guides to read up on the island and customs & immigration procedures which have to be completed before we can drop anchor and savour that arrival beer. We are extremely grateful to friends Amanda and Mark on sy Balvenie who have recently visited Barbados and have sent us a detailed 'heads up' on procedures, facilities and the island. Thanks so much, guys.