Half Way - 18:52.5N 47:45.5W

Wed 16 Feb 2011 22:19
Finally, Iâve passed the half way point.  This is calculated on the longitudinal distance and as a result is actually a good bit beyond halfway from a distance-sailed perspective.  I crossed long 36 deg 19 min west at about 0400 this morning and celebrated with my treasured stock of coke and some chocolate.  Neptune partook in the festivities, although Iâm surprised it didnât get thrown back up on the decks, I think Neptune might be used to receiving champagne at this stage. The moon and Polaris made a quick visit from behind the cloud and overall it was a calm bright night.
The morning was spent trying to get the double poled-out headsails organised.  I literally spent two hours trying to get the sails back up again.  I am going to be having a very serious talk with my sailmaker about how he constructs his barrel ropes.  I have an older North sail which I was putting up as well and it never gives any trouble, and can be hoisted by hand all of the way.  This new sail is a serious handful, it took every ounce of strength on a Lewmar 25, two speed winch to get it up, along with 40 visits to the bow to help guide it. and I was using the monkeys balls on this one and none on Northâs.  As you can imagine I was not very impressed and all of this after explaining that I would be hoisting it solo and that it was critical that it ran up the groove easily.
The rest of the day was spent taking sun sights when the cloud broke, and trying to do the math to correlate my position.  Unfortunately I was unable to get a second sight in the evening for a sun-run-sun fix.  I was having a bit of difficulty remembering all the various corrections and tables used.  For a finish I decided to use the scientific calculator approach and can only say that I am glad that versine tables were phased out of trigonometry long ago.  The moon and sun are out simultaneously now and if there was no cloud it would make perfect conditions for trying the lunar distance calculation.
The wind has dropped off now to about 10 kts.  I am still making 3 to 4 knots but with a lot of flopping about.  I hope the second half of the trip doesnât take as long as the first.  I currently have 800Nm to go to the safewater mark outside Falmouth Harbour, Antigua.  As long as the winds stays I could be there in about 6 days but from what I understand the Azores High has dispersed and will probably reform in the coming week.  What effect this will have on my weather, Iâm not sure?