Atlantic crossing 7

Thu 30 Nov 2006 17:22
Tuesday 28th November. Last thing Monday evening we doused the mainsail and
went through the night on the Genoa only, but were going under five knots by
the morning. The time had come to sort the twistle rig. We had sorted the
head end of the sail rope in LP and sprayed the groove with a teflon
lubricant, so it went up like a dream. All our preparations paid off and we
soon had the rig working a treat. The advice we had received at the various
do's during the past week was invaluable so we had a vast amount of twistle
experience to draw from. One of the poles, the ends of which are a bit hair
trigger, let go late in the evening and we had a bit of a problem sorting it
all out in quite a strong breeze. Since then it has performed very well,
Tuesday nights run had speeds of up to 7.8 over the ground, great to hear
the boat surging ahead. There is a kind of apathetic feeling around the
boat, everything seems to be too much trouble, as a result we are not eating
properly and Thisbe is getting in a bit of a mess. I recognise this feeling
from the first part of the trip, its partly tiredness but mostly motion
sickness which I am sure will pass. There is always doubt in our minds as to
weather we have made the right decision with the course, when the wind is
strong we feel a bit smug, but when we are wallowing, wish we had chosen a
more southern route. A surprise visit from another ARC yacht, she just
seemed to appear from nowhere, No.116 Meadow. Great to see her come surging
up, a Bavaria, much more nimble than our old deep keeler, seeming to go
wherever she pleased on mainsail only. Wonder what she would be like in a
blow though? The Atlantic swell is just as I expected, having read so much
about it. Long and lazy, but sometimes very choppy between the waves, swells
about 8 to 10'. Not too uncomfortable as long as they are from behind. A
good day. Wednesday was much the same weatherwise, brother Victor managed
to lay a watch during the day, it was great to see him up and about. Life is
beginning to take on another colour, more sleep and better food is starting
to show, working around the boat and getting things shipshape. We
occasionally spot other boats, only at night though, lights on the horizon.
We were surprised to hear that we were in 163rd position yesterday, and up a
bit to 160th today (Thursday). We are working hard to achieve 120 miles a
day as per the plan. Only running the engine to charge the batteries. On
that subject, I am more than please with the Adverc battery management
system I installed during last winter, that, along with a 100amp alternator
is keeping us well in power, even running the fridge on a low setting.
Approx one and a half hours a day brings them back to 100%. charge. I have
an 800 watt petrol generator as back up but dont think we will have to use
it. Thursday evening and wallowing a bit, not much wind, Victor nearly back
to firing on four, Alex on deck playing the guitar in the evening sun, yours
truly feeling pretty good and anticipating 8 hours off, life is good,
2200ish miles to go at 6 miles an hour. Lots of emails from kind and
interested people, I just hope I am telling them what they want to hear on
the sailing front. All for now, I will make more effort to keep up. Manny