Day 9 - Western Atlantic
After we watched a seemingly ever increasing red sky at sunset last night (see below) we had a brief visit of 6-8 small dolphins which ended with a synchronized jump only feet in front of our bow (Mike G needs to have his camera ready next time)! With the genoa pooled out and a full sail set (including self-tacking jib) - the easterly wind began to pick up - blowing to a F 5 overnight. Spinnaker pole and jib safely stowed at dark we were able to make the most of the winds - routinely registering boats speeds of 9-10 knots, eventually having to reef the main and genoa to maintain boat balance in a moderately strong sea state - a lively night for us all!
The morning brought an increase in shipping traffic passing safely across our bows - either en-route out to the great Atlantic seas or nearing their U.S. destination. Despite lighter winds the noon day run was a respectable 153nm! Meanwhile Mike G's diligent attempts to photograph flying fish (to compensate for the missed dolphins) were reasonably successful (although he claims to have deleted the best one by accident - somewhat like Mike A's fish that was never landed)!!
As the journey is nearing its end Just over 100nm to go) - there is time to reflect back on our past 8 days on Magic Friday : For some it has been an insight into the intricacies of sailing a yacht, for some an experience of long distance blue water sailing and for us all it has been a great exercise of friendship, team work, routines and organisation. And then to quote a few of Mike G's out-spoken thoughts on life at sea: (1) There are no "dumb" sailors (as portrayed in old movies) - sailing a yacht is a complicated process of sails, sheets (ropes), winches, blocks, kickers etc..etc...; (2) It is possible to go several days without bathing in "Purell"; (3) Putting on one's shoes make you feel civilised (after days without), and (4) It is possible to live without regular news updates, ice and clean cups all the time!!
Phil, Mike and Mike.