Position 34:08:33N 14:55:90W
Our third night at sea was fairly uneventful, although the wind varied
between 14 & 28 knots with little warning. We had a couple of involuntary
gybes when the Aries lost concentration, but no noticable damage and the
preventers held. We sailed all night with 2 reefs in the main and
"throttled" the poled-out jib between fully-out and 2 reefs. Seems to work
well although you do have to adjust the Aries to counter the change in
balance. The Aries works better when under-canvassed. Broadly-speaking for
night sailing as a family, below 5kts = under-canvassed; 5-6kts all OK, >
6kts means probably need to reef. Sure you could be a bit less conservative
with a stronger crew.
It was very rolly, and Jemima kept waking up. Sarah and I are quite tired;
I would say we are averaging 3hrs sleep a night and possibly snatching
another hour or so in the day. Looking forward to getting there and
sleeping in a stable bed!
Our 0900-0900 24-hr run was about 129M through the water; 137 over the
ground with a little current making up the difference. We've got about 90M
to go, so we will be arriving at some point in the night tonight.
I was reading a book this morning when to my surprise a pink fishing buoy
floated past next to the hull. It gave me the shock of my life! Then, when
we were doing the radio sched, I saw a small brown turtle no more than 30cm
across, float past. This has been pretty-much it in the way of sightseeing
for the last 24 hrs. Yet despite the fact that it appears to be
never-ending ocean, underneath us there are all sorts of mountain ranges
passing by unnoticed. Despite us being hundreds of miles from the continent
with a typical depth of 4-5000m, we passed within 15M of a bank with just
20m of water over it. There are banks and seamounts dotted all over the
ocean round here. The sea is a deep blue and quite majestic. The weather
has been a mix of cloud & sun and it has been fairly cold at night - several
fleeces and salopettes required.
The radio scheds have been successful and we are in contact with all the
other boats in our "floating village" via SSB, and with "Duende" via VHF
also - they are still < 10M away from us. It is without doubt the highlight
of the day. I will not deny that sailing across a patch of ocean is quite a
stressful and difficult experience, and it helps enormously to talk to
others in a similar situation.
Lots of love,
Ollie, Sarah, Emilia & Jemima xxxx