20:15N 40:07W SOG 6-7, SSE-SE F3-4, COG 250, 8/8 clouds.
40 West at last and just as BxWx told us, the wind has at last moved behind
us after two days of f1-3 from south to east. It's around 1230 nm to
Antigua and almost exactly the same to Martinique so we can dither about
which way to go for a little while yet.
The very distant Stingo continues to engage in vicarious transat natter but
is evidently trapped in yet another long-term cheap marina deal, and asks
about if there any pranks going on. We had all sorts of pranks on a transat
with stingo, from hiding in the engineroom, pretending to have been up the
mast and even jumping in the sea for MOB practice. Not quite such an
extreme pranking trip this one, but James has discovered the in-built
pranking features of Maxsea.
Maxsea is a software program that we use to display the weather forecasts on
an on-screen map. Little arrows show the predicted wind direction over the
area chosen, and the number of "feathers" on each arrow show how strong the
wind likely to be. This hasn't been entirely accurate (not as accurate as
BxWx) but we look at it anyway. The "modify wind forecast" feature is a bit
puzzling - why would you want to get a forecast and then add or subtract
(say) 10 knots to everything? Perhaps it's a feature for daydreaming about
extra wind, or put there if some nervous crew are on board and you want to
hide the imminent gale forecast? At any rate, adding 30knots to the
forecast certainly got our resident sailing-mad Italian very excited for an
hour or so.
The other reason for not running loads of pranks is that some crew are
entertaining enough anyway. A week into the trip Rob asked me about the
things on the mast - what are those for? What things? Oh , the round
things that say "Raymarine" on them and look like monkey seats? Ah yes the
monkey seats, well, you're right first time there, cos that's exactly what
they are - monkey seats. Any monkeys on board just love sitting up there.
If you look a bit higher there's an empty bird feeder too, because the
monkeys ate all the peanuts and Diana and I haven't had a chance to refill
it. Monkey seats and bird feeders seem much more fun that radar scanners
and radar reflectors.
Even sail changes can be a bit of a laugh. After countless less-than-smooth
sail changes, this morning James and I were careful to shout to ask if the
genoa was free to run, before trying to pull it out. Yes, confirmed Rob
from the other side of the boat, it's free to run - "including the furler!".
Oh goody, *including* the furler this time eh? As opposed to all the other
times when it was presumably free to run *apart* from the furler, and hence
flippin jammed solid, hm? That's our fault for not asking...