Making good speed

Scott-Free’s blog
Steve & Chris
Wed 22 Dec 2010 17:11
16:49.154N 27:11.677W

Wednesday 22nd December 2010

Distance run in 21 hours: 129
Distance left to run: 1900

A lively first night with winds of 22-27 knots and confused seas. We were well reefed down but still making around 7 knots over the ground. Not particularly comfortable for sleeping but at least the wind was over the quarter not from behind, so not too much rolling.

The entire night was lit by a full moon which rose as an enormous orange orb which outdid the setting sun. With the first light of morning came a huge pod of dolphins which were the most entertaining yet. Their party piece was to rise up out of the water at 90 degrees to the surface, flip over mid-air and dive back into the water again at 90 degrees to the surface. When it worked it was spectacular as they cleared the water by metres. But it was when it didn't work that it was most entertaining, as it ended with an enormously loud belly-flop with spray everywhere as the full weight of the dolphin's body hit the water broadside on.

When we left Mindelo yesterday, several other boats also left, and we have had two boats in sight all day, though they are now moving away. Every day we, and about 30 other boats, join in an SSB radio net, when we give the net controller our current position, heading, speed and wind and sea conditions. The net is run by other yachties also making their way across the Atlantic, and is a way of keeping track of the boats at sea and passing on information about weather, facilities at destinations etc. We also keep in touch with Serafina at an appointed time each day to make sure all is well with them and vice versa. At the moment they are only a few miles away and we can talk on VHF. When they are out of range of VHF we use the SSB. Failing that, we email each other!

The wind has settled down now to around 15 knots and we are making 6.5 knots of speed over a slightly calmer sea. Time to think about making some supper. Chicken curry tonight.