Atlantic crossing 12

Thu 7 Dec 2006 17:51
Ran before the gale again all day yesterday, decided it was too dangerous to
cook so warmed up some beans and had them with ham, then cheese and
crackers. Sat here and talked about food. We have plenty on board but its
much too difficult to prepare. I fancied chicken wings in hot spicy sauce,
Vic wanted a nice bit of lamb ? Alex would settle for any lump of something
roasted as long as it once had a pulse. The wind moderated a little last
night so we didn't reef, resulting in a 160 mile run in the last 24. Sea has
also gone down a lot which is a great relief, its been blowing since last
Friday night. We needed to refuel the tank, we have used 30 liters so far,
most of it to charge the batteries. Resuming after refuelling the tank,
there was plenty left in but I don't want to risk a half tank fuel surge
allowing air into the fuel line when we are charging the batteries tomorrow.
More problems with chafe on the Airies Windvane, where the lines join the
leg it's held in with a big bead which allows the line to rub against the
hole. Now dispensed with the bead and tied it direct to the leg with a half
blood knot. We'll see !
We are now far enough south to make the most of the trades. As I write
this we are howling along, speed over the ground going up to and over 8
knots, though the wind is not over 15. A bit of a scary feel to it when a
gust coincides with the top of a wave and we go hurtling off down the face.
Everything is in control and we have checked the rig over and over, cant
think of anything that could go wrong (ha ha). Leaning over the stern a
little while ago I was thrilled to see the deep vermilion blue of the water
reflecting back from the sky, tearing along 2 feet from my head. The huge
waves we have been experiencing have now reduced and become more even, so
the rocking and rolling is much more bearable. An hour ago there was a
different kind of splash and the head and shoulders of a huge fish appeared
slashing across our bow, it came around and surfed alongside us for a short
while, some kind of dolphin it seemed but never seen one as big before. A
sail appeared to port and slowly came up with us, turned out to be a yacht
called Twister from the Cape Verde Islands. We sailed along together for a
while and chatted on the radio. She is six days out on route to Guadeloupe,
roughly the same course as us but a bigger and faster boat so we may not see
them again. Nice to meet them though. Had a bit of a cook up just now which
was very nice, from my bunk the wind seems to be increasing so had better go
and have a look, shorten sail I reckon before something carries away. All
for Thursday 7th Dec. Manny
When we get to St. Lucia going to get some wings, and mabe rest my eyes on
soft curves of the local wildlife.