A fast first day

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Thu 4 Mar 2010 17:37
We set off around noon yesterday, and have covered 160 miles in the first 24 hours. A couple of hours of pleasant sailing, followed by about 3 hours of motoring with no wind. However around 1700 the wind piped up and we sailed from then till now with the cruising chute up and now the mainsail on a preventer as well.
Quite an exciting night with the chute up--and not a lot of sleep--there never is on first day of passage--the wind rising to 20 knots plus up the chuff--but with us doing 8 knots or so, I figured there was only 12/14 knots over the sail and she carried it well. So a fast start.
We were also entertained by numerous manta rays doing tremendous acrobatics, leaping out of the water, doing somersaults--one even managed a triple somersault before hitting the water again--I didn't know rays did that--dozens of them--awesome!! And an hour after we'd passed that area we were joined by dolphins for 20 minutes.  But we caught no fish.
So on we go sailing at 6.5 knots in the sunshine and moderate seas. We'll keep the sails up as long as we can, but I know we'll reach the doldrums in the next 30 hours, and then we'll have to motor.
And outside, I know what the boy who stood on the burning deck felt--sore feet.