DAY 5 - A great day!
Day 4: 137 nm
The spirit has been somehow low last 2 days. We sailed into an area with less wind hence our progress has been slow, not more than 4 knots average since Sunday. We turned slightly westwards to compensate. The sails, until last night, were spread out ‘wing-on-wing’ in order to catch maximum wind from behind and achieve a push effect. However the down-side is a more unstable boat with sideways rolling. It is a challenge for crew members with a less strong stomach, and it disturbs the night sleep. We maintain the 'warm-bed' policy onboard; means when one returns from his night shift he kicks his mate, who is next on watch, out of bed. The cabins have double bunks (wide beds). With a side rolling ship you keep rolling in the bed every 5 second, left-right-left-right… How can you sleep..? We found a solution to the problem; by stuffing our travel bags with clothes and other soft stuff, we narrowed the dbl beds to ½ meter and thereby found good side support, squeezed tightly in between the two supports. It worked!
We continuously struggle with el-power, The solar panels do not offer enough ampere for the long dark hours so we have introduced a ‘save energy policy’ – most lights are out after 8 pm (even navigation lights). Priority is auto pilot, and in and in morning we run two hours production of fresh water.
Concerning water, of course, the local mechanic in Puerto Rico (see Day 1) had not done a proper job when he fixed the new water pump One clamp had not been sufficiently tightened so a hose came loose and we lost 80% of our valuable water in the tanks 400 ltr tanks (which had been produced during our first night motoring, sacrificing 150 ltr of diesel.) Fortunately we saved some when we heard the auto bilge pump running and by now we have reproduced >50% of the lost. And we will continue each day. The most important however; we now have full control even though it costs battery energy, which again is pending partly on diesel and partly the sun. Today was cloudy, the first day w/o sun, in fact.
Enough about problems, but it proves how crucial the logistic is.
Why is today a great day ?
Early this morning the wind picked up and slightly turned to south-east so we changed the mainsail to a starboard tack and regained both speed and a much better stability in the boat. We now slightly heel ! Speed has been steady 7- 8 knots since morning with a 20-30 knots southerly wind direction. Great. It’s like flying compared to the last two previous days. We are however not confident that we have found the passat wind, because our satellite weather forecast still indicate 10-15 knots for next days. We are aware of a low pressure center 500 nm west of us and this can perhaps contribute to some beneficial south winds. Would be good..
We had today our first lunch from the Atlantic Sea. Last night just before sunset we hooked a 3 kg Dorado, and together with 8 knots at the helm today the lunch meal was a real uplift. We celebrated with 1 glass of redwine, carefully selected from a very small on-board wine cellar (we carry 6 bottles for 3 weeks usage). Safety first.
We logged 137 nm yesterday (Day 4).
Our planned average to Target is 150 nm/day.
‘Target’ will be let known later….
Have to run… the fishing rod gives a familiar sound, there is a catch on the hook, perhaps a Kingfish.