Antigua to Norfolk VA - day 3

Stravaig'n the Blue
Wed 12 May 2021 19:49
End of day 3 position: 23:55.9 N  066:30.4 W
Position timestamp: Wednesday 12 May 2021 11:00 UTC-4
Distance travelled last 24 hours / in total: 172 / 498 NM
Average speed since departure: 6.8 knots
Shortest distance to destination: 946 NM

An uneventful 24 hours. The wind held up and we travelled 172 miles which is an average speed of 7.2 knots. Our planning assumption for this passage was 150 miles per day (averaging 6.25 knots) so we are a bit ahead of schedule.

On our crossing from Lanzarote to Grenada in January we were plagued by vast swathes of west-bound seaweed for the last half of the passage. The seaweed got caught around the rudders which made the steering heavy, it got caught around the hydroelectric generator’s prop which effectively put that piece of kit out of action and meant having to run the engine to charge the batteries and it prevented me from fishing.

The seaweed continued to be a nuisance when we were sailing around and between the Caribbean islands and it washed up in great masses on the east-facing shores of the islands, putting beaches out of action and impacting the local fishing. The were a couple of beneficiaries however. Oystercatcher-like birds had discovered they could wander about on floating patches of the weed trapped in bays and coves and feast themselves on the marine life that had taken up residence in it. And local farmers had taken to feeding it to their goats. The sheep on North Ronaldsey in Orkney have survived on a diet of seaweed for centuries so why not goats in the Caribbean.

The seaweed first became a problem in 2011 as this rather good article from Yachting World explains.

For the first two days out of Antigua the seaweed prevented us deploying the hydroelectric generator but as we have tracked north, the weed has lessened and the generator is now operational. Fingers crossed the weed doesn’t return. (It did.)

Linda is sunbathing so all must be well.