DAY 2 - cutting the engines

Sat 22 Nov 2008 12:46
25:27.50N  17:30.60W
Saturday 11 am
Course 240 degree. Speed 6 knots
We have made 170 nm since we left Puerto Rico in Gran Canaries 24 hours ago. As expected we faced only a light breeze at 5-8 knots, in fact not enough to carry a 15 tons vessel forward at satisfactory speed. We have therefore been motoring at 8 knots in order to make a good advance southward. We cut the engines at 9 am this morning. A tailwind of 10 -12 knots is now pushing us forward with 5-6 knots boat speed. Overall a good start, important to get south and search for the desired trade winds that will bring us towards west without falling into any doldrums (no-wind area)..
Logistics (electric and fuel).
We carry 500 ltr diesel, of which we will need around 150 ltr for charging batteries underway. We probably burned not less than 150 ltrs only last night so the balance is easy to calculate, - will be considered for careful use later if we should need it. Autopilot, fridge, radar and watermaker, all suck a lot of ampere from the batteries, more than we produce from the 4.5 m2 solar cell panels installed as our bimini. The sun is effective 8-9 hours a day considering that we have 12 hours daylight only (and 12 hours dark). Of course instruments and other el-consumers will be used with care but they are all critical, specially the use of autopilot at night means improved safety.
During the first days the body needs to adjust to the new environment - rolling, with no solid ground under the feet, We therefore decided to go easy on the eating Day 1 no heavy meals but rather stick to sandwiches and ensure that we consume plenty of water. This may help us avoid nausea and vomiting from sea sickness. We have brought food for 25 days (5 days more than expected time in open sea).The food 'reservoir' contains fresh meat and bread and 'gourmet additional' for the first week, but then later onto a variety of Italian pastas, can food, soups and fresh bread baked onboard. The bonus is; we have purchased nice fishing equipment for big-fish catches. Will see later how that will match our 'fishing luck'...
The night was cold during the watches at the helm, happy to bring the long underpants along (to Caribbean?), better safe than sorry. It is quite a big temperature difference from midday to night but we expect this to ease every day as we are heading south. Our first sunrise was beautiful and we shared it jointly with some 30-40 dolphins - we tried to catch them in the camera lenses but unfortunately they got away. Surely, we will catch up later.....