Atlantic crossing 9

Mon 4 Dec 2006 12:06
Sunday 3/11. Running before the gale all day. Had a bit of a cookup, steak
and ale pie compliments of the catering officer in Truro. Wind slowly
abating, so late afternoon were able to sort out the reefing/halyard
Have decided to bypass the 20N 30W waypoint and are now steering 262
deg.true. 838 miles to waypoint five.
Wind got up again in the evening so another night howling along sometimes
over 7kn, glad we did the work on the rig as were able to reef without
problems, rule of thumb is, do the work when you have the chance!
The wind is warm now, down below can be quite stifling, bit smelly too, damp
clothes and vegetables starting to turn in the nets, not to mention the
unmentionable. Not sure if what we are experiencing now is set for the rest
of the trip, true tradewind conditions, or the aftermath of the big blow,
very uncomfortable. Long rollers seeming to heave us along, sometimes coming
from the side to wet poor sailorboys knickers, (not very many of them left
either, knickers that is). Clouds of flying fish bursting from the surface
of the ocean and skittering for hundreds of yards, disturbed by our passing.
Getting into squall country too, had to hastily put the boards in last night
to keep the heavy rain out of the cabin, the sudden maelstrom of wind and
rain on you before you realize. What a night though, moonlight so bright it
seems almost warm, standing and holding on to the spray hood, careering down
great waves and laughing up at the sky, the worlds greatest jazz musicians
unburdening their souls through the headset. Orgasmic ! 150 miles in the
last 24 hours and the chart at last beginning to take on an understandable
proportion. Chafe is a big problem, not just the aforementioned either, one
of the lines from James, the self steering, let go this morning putting us
side on the sea, another white knuckle job for Manny with a good wetting to
bootfull. When we get to St. Lucia I'm going to have a shower. Manny