PINBALL WIZARD - DAY 18 - 11 Feb 2012

Nigel North
Sat 11 Feb 2012 18:26

Position:  16:09.18N 45:09.52W

Saturday, 11 February 2012

DAY 18

When I relieved Alfie at 0500 this morning he told me of his interesting night with some squalls coming through and heavy rain. (Serves you right, I thought, for spilling the drinking chocolate powder all over the deck)

‘Oh bad luck’ I said, hoping to sound sympathetic. He’d had to reef the genoa right back to a handkerchief which was fine, with the heavy weather jib on the other side. Speed slowed, boat stops slewing into wind, problem solved. And what started last night has continued through the day with frequent squalls dowsing us and windspeeds of 35-40kts for periods of 20 minutes or so. But PW takes it all in his stride, and even quite monstrous looking waves coming up astern just slip underneath to no effect.

But all this wind has made for a boisterous sea with set after set charging away to the West, and on the larger waves we surf for a few moments before subsiding in the troughs. Its just as well our direction is west too, for on any other point of sailing it would be a most uncomfortable ride, particularly cross sea. So we’re not going to do that. If the trade winds decided they were bored with going west and turned onto east we’d just go with them too, or we’d get trounced.

Yesterday we made our best days run with 147 nm - thanks to the North Equatorial Current, which is still with us but less strong. With only 870nm still to go it seems like we’re nearly there, and Alfie has been plotting our position on the chart and estimating when we might get there. Friday, he reckoned. I thought that a bit optimistic. Sunday then? What was complicating the calculations was Alfie’s dodgy watch, which changes the date at midnight and the day at lunchtime, and that he thought it was Sunday today. We left it at that for now. My wild guess has always been Saturday 18th, and Alfie’s the 19th..

Yesterday we actually saw another yacht - a ketch, about 3 or 4 miles south of us. But after a while it disappeared again. Otherwise, we have seen….nuffin. Except for a huge great long splurge of ginger seaweed stretching out in a long long line at least half a kilometre long.

Things seen: nuffin’

Things not seen: Barbados, my shades, glass of wine, beer, rum punch, chips, female anything, dolphins, whales, sea serpents, light pollution.

Best bits: night sky on watch, warm air around bare legs, PW’s wake, PW’s bow wave, dolphin displays, watching Alfie’s hair grow, dangling legs in warm sea, Alfie being here, not having to go back, no officials, freedom of the ocean, ocean birds, flying fish speeds, dinner time, tea time, hot chocolate, friends emails, satphone, humour, companionship of the sea, learning to sing again, special colour of the sea

Not so good bits: being slammed around the cabin just after waking up; trying to cook with a roll on; getting up at 0500 after 3 hours kip; mirrors; violent rolling; watching your tea fill up the butter dish; trying to pee accurately;

Bad bits; none

Happy Saturday!

..and thanks for all your emails, its great receiving them.