DAY 21 - Full moon

Thu 11 Dec 2008 10:09
15:21.00N  54:46.00W
6 AM (local time), Thursday morning. We are heading into day 21.
Speed is good, currently 6 knots and we take the wind straight from behind, (from east, not north-east as we hoped for). Last 1-2 days we were forced slightly northwards due to the wind turned more easterly during Tuesday. However, since last night, with the easterly direction we have reefed the genova and been using only the main sail which allow us to get back on target course, currently 262 degree. The compromise is a yacht that again 'rock and roll' sideways. The wave height have increased up to 4 meters which also makes the yacht take quite big swings. Not so comfortable, unfortunately. Under deck it sounds like a plastic & metallic orchestra when all its cooking pans, plates etc are being thrown around. Moving (walking) is pretty much a challenge as well, but as we get closer to target we prefer to stay at this target course rather than tacking off-course which would give a nice heel. We are 60 miles north and 350 miles east of target position at this morning, and the wind direction next days will decide if we can change into a port or starboard tack.
The fastest yachts in ARC (the Atlantic Regatta Cruising) have passed us. The ocean is big but nevertheless we had last two days 4-5 catamarans and larger yachts with huge spinnaker sails within eye sight (and one Norwegian boat in VHF radio contact as well) on their way to St. Lucia where the finish line is. We believe that most of the "regular" configured sailing yachts are still behind or at similar position vs. target as ourselves.
We keep fishing for lunch hence the pastas and the soups are being stuffed away. Food and drinking-water provisions are ok. Diesel fuel is short though, and we discuss regularly when and how best we should utilize the remaining, considering our daily need of el-power battery charging and water production, against weather forecast for next few days in case we would need fuel to compensate for less wind (to maintain acceptable speed). During last 4 days the wind has been fine, 15-20 kn with some few squalls up to 35 kn. The sun is here, the moon has just grown to full, and water temperature is 28 Celsius. Pity we don't have time for a swim but certainly we will when we arrive to Martinique.
Last days log:
Day 20    expected 135-140 nm
Day 19    127 nm
Day 18    151 nm
Day 17    119 nm
Day 16      96 nm