April 13th -15th Days 5-7 485 N miles from Antigua

Michael & Amanda Dyer
Tue 5 May 2009 10:19
Day Five. the wind dropped at midnight and we slowed to 1.5k. The boom
slatted and we had to tie it down. However, dawn broke to calm seas and
clear blue skies. We enjoyed a relaxing day going nowhere fast. There
is a lot of weed floating on the water. Sargasso weed which looks like
grape stems minus the grapes. We motored for two hours to charge the
batteries. I saw the moon rise at 2200, it is waining fast now. We
have full sail up. In the night we had about 10k wind from NE which has
set us west again.

Day Six- 485 miles from Antigua. The wind and sea have gathered force
today. The wind from NE 15-20k averaging 4.5 knots. We still have
1800Nm to Horta. The sea is really mixed up, coming from all directions
and slamming us -most uncomfortable. I was a bit anxious all day, not
sure why? Adam had sent me a forecast saying we could get 30k on
Friday. I downloaded the gribs and it looks like we will get up to 25k
but hopefully from the SW so we will shorten sail accordingly. It could
be the sea is so confused because we are entering the Sargasso sea which
is a meter higher than the Trade wind Atlantic and the Gulf Stream
Atlantic. The water is saltier and so denser. It is where loads of the
sea's eels come to breed, travelling huge distances to return to their
breeding ground. The plankton levels are very high. There was a lot of
phosphorescence in our wake last night.

Day Seven. The seas calmed down towards dawn and veered so that for the
first time in days we have a heading with some east in it. 030 degrees.
The forecast is for it to keep veering and strengthening. We should
cover some miles over the next few days -5.5knots average, hopefully.
Out of the blue, we had an email from Mike and Paivi who live on their
boat 'Arctic Moon' in Marbella.
We saw a yacht at sundown-amazing. I think he was motoring as he made
steady progress ahead. We then saw our first ship which looked like a
cruise ship by all the lights. The wind dropped right off and the main
slammed and crashed. Mike went forward to secure the boomlock. I think
we covered 10 miles all night, steering 060 degrees.