19:34.34N 22:51.34W 200 miles to go!

Wed 16 Dec 2015 13:41
14.12.15 There are particular advantages of being on a run; Zoonie stays level so cupboard doors can be opened without risk of being bruised by jars and bottles taking on the will of flight. Today we caught a large Wahoo which will last us two days. Hmm, how to make it appetising. A rummage through one of the aforementioned cupboards brought to light a packet of what looked like fish sauce. The instructions were interesting, 1 Tom pulveret i en kasserolde og tilsett 4dl vann og 1 dl flote. Ok now this looked vaguely familiar. Turn the packet over and the name gave it away, “Bergensk Fiskesaus”. We would have Nordic sauce with our fish, and I thought of our friends who live in that lovely, empty country.
Helming through the night. Henry took the night off as he was finding the variations in wind force and direction hard to cope with. Zoonie sliced through the water in a cloak of white foam. The diva cruising chute had the stage to herself and in full voice she bellowed blue and beautiful, her hold on the boat via the clew and sheet (of music) was a full 15 feet clear of the hull. I disciplined the wheel to keep Zoonie between 195’ and 205’ (something Henry could not do) and we just sped on through the dark at 5 knots on a level stage.
Towards the end of my watch I sensed a change in the water and wind. Zoonie was reaching 6 knots and the steering was becoming difficult as the diva reached her climax. So up came Rob for his watch, on went the decklights and down came the chute in a well honed routine of my releasing the sheet so the snuffer (“I’ve snuffed it dear,””Really, you look alright to me”) safely encased the fragile sail material like a falling stage curtain and the genoa and main took over the job and were set ready incase the wind increased. Sod’s law of course, the wind dropped and we could have listened to the diva all night, but then enough can be quite enough.
15.12.15. Whales blowing on both sides of us as they move north, a reversal to last year when we were heading north from the Azores and they were of south to bear their young.
We see the first clouds in six days – fine weather cirrus and high white clouds marbled against the blue sky.
During the night the wind is indecisive and the sea state confused. We tacked to provide a more direct, and as it turned out, comfortable course in 12 knots of wind.
16.12.15 With the coming of dawn everything is damp. Humidity is 70% and the decks and surfaces look as if they have been rained on. We are damp too. The wind has dropped so we hoist the spinnaker and as I speak Zoonie is gliding along with a gentle roll and 4 plus knots of speed in 6 to 8 knots of wind. Because the spinnaker is free to fly, unlike the white sails, it has an immense capacity to steady Zoonie’s hull motion. It takes the knocks so to speak.
If we can keep up the present speed we should be in Mindelo on Friday, as expected 8 days after leaving the Canaries, but then it doesn’t pay to speculate in this game.