Wed 28th December
We have been at sea for five days by the 28th steering steadily westward and making good progress. At midday yesterday we had covered a quarter of the total distance to Grenada at an average speed of about 6.5 knots. The position at noon on 27th was 16:22.10N 35:09.70W.
We are running under a just a deep-reefed Genoa and the main is stowed. The wind has been fresh from the northeast at between 20 and 30 knots for the last three days. There is a large swell, possibly five to six meters, coming down from the north mixing with wind-driven waves of three to four meters and combining at times to produce oddly pyramidal waves which knock the yacht around and throw spray over the deck and into the cockpit. The waves are making steering difficult and yesterday we had a bit of a disaster when the Hydrovane self-steering rudder operated by the wind broke off under the stress applied by these very rude waves. At a stroke our workload has escalated as we now have to hand steer the rest of the way. Add to that rain showers, albeit warm rain.
Anyway, spirits are high, despite taking 3 hour turns steering in waterproofs although the others are fed up with me saying that, ‘when I did this with Phil Pascoe, we played cards in the cockpit in the evenings and it was too hot to sit out during the day.’.
Alison, your Christmas cake was greatly appreciated and very, very good.
David, thank you very much for your Christmas card.
Julia, I wasn’t able to open your Christmas message – I think it must have contained a graphic.
Malcolm, thank you for your email greetings.
Mike, great to hear from you and best wishes from us.
All best for the New year from the Scathach team.