13:32.725N 36:00.382W

Thu 30 Nov 2017 22:17
13:32.725N 36:00.382W
Knot on Call Blog 30th November - Day 12
Sailing is always a compromise between the direction you want to go and how quickly you can get there and the direction you can sail and at what speed.
Today has been a classic example. We want to go slightly south of west for 500 miles at around 8 knots but the wind has been generally due east at 10 knots.
We can't sail downwind with the rig we now have so we have to make 30-35 degs off the wind. and gybe every time the wind changes by 10 degrees and holds for a while.
The end result is we have struggled to make 5 knots. We need true North East trades at 15 plus knots but where are they - 500 miles ahead of us QED!
We woke up this morning to see a VLCC tanker "The Alice" astern and headed straight towards us on an unwavering course and at 330m long, 60 m beam 20 m draught was something definitely to be avoided. AIS said her closest point of approach to us would be less than half a mile - not much on the scale of things when the ship is almost a quarter of a mile long! We got him on the radio and politely asked his intentions - to pass astern or in front, he politely answered that at he moment he should pass astern, equally politely we asked whether he would definitely pass astern to which he assured us he would and altered his course by a massive 1 degree which gave us a 1 mile comfort zone. He told us he was en route for Canada and wished us a good voyage. Best to be sure and safe. Shortly after we were called up by a catamaran en route to Martinique asking how things were. They were 2 couples, a 4 year old and a 3 mnth old baby. The 4 year old had already done a round the world trip - hard nosed or what! Quite a chatty morning given where we were.
The world record banana smoothie attempt was a total failure. For all the bold words and hot air, suction was lacking to evacuate the said fruit and it ended up in a bowl of granola. A small flock of birds flew round us twice to suss us out. Not sea birds or geese but quite colourful, ideas anyone?
After 12 days with possibly another 12-13 days to go (a slow trip) our inventory is looking OK. We changed a gas bottle tonight so have used half our supply, need to be careful but after Sunday we will be mostly warming up tinned food rather than prepping everything from fresh so should be OK. We have lots of fresh water with over 2/3 of our tank water for cooking washing etc and lots of bottled drinking water as well as UHT milk and fruit squash. The oranges and apples are looking good at least for another week and then we have tinned fruit also lots of vacuum pack part baked baguettes , spanish ham, choritzo and cheese, so all in all not in a bad place at all.
Well night folks its off to bed its 10 pm and up at 3 am. John
The Alice - 1 mile away
A damp banana
Astern or in front?
Twitchers what they?

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