189 miles and being sploshed!

Wed 28 Nov 2012 17:24
boat position 26.33.776N 018.15.384W
I was a bit alarmed when I found the skipper intently studying the Imray Italian chart!  Did he have any idea where we going?! Aparently he was double checking which way the magnetic variation went as crossing the Atlantic it does build to 17degrees west and he wanted to check it was the right way round!
  • A horrible rock and rolly night with rain squalls!  A big confused sea and all the big ARC boats crossing through us in the dark.  We had a healthy force 6 gusting 7 but actually felt much more than that with the Atlantic swell.  The cook chickened out and the poor boys were pretty much all on deck for most of the night snatching a little sleep when they could on the cockpit floor clipped on in their oilskins!  The situation wasn’t helped by the port and starboard navigation lights failing .... the connection had been damaged by the weather and they kept going out – alarming with so many boats around.  Fortunately Stephen has been able to mend it this afternoon.  It was unpleasant but we were cracking along – I think Stephen held the record for the highest speed 13.2 knots!  We were hoping that our daily run was going to be 200 miles, but the wind has moderated today so we weren’t going to get that but 189 isn’t bad.  We started about three quarters of an hour ahead of the ARC race so thought we were doing quite well that the 60 footers didn’t catch us up until around midnight.   It was interesting and really useful to have the AIS receiver so we could tell when one of these big yachts were close to us – if you move the cursor over their position you can see their name etc. so that is how we could tell which yachts were passing us.  We had one horrible big wave that got us sideways and drenched the cockpit.  The motion makes it very hard to move around the boat and do anything – we all look like really old people – grey beards or not!  Our plan is now to go closer to the rum line rather than the Cape Verde Islands as it looks as if there is no wind in there and when we have done south enough we will start heading due west for Martinique.  At the moment 5pm – we have around 15 knots of breeze from the NE and still a big sea but much more manageable we still have two reefs in the main and the genoa is still furled up so we are now averaging 6 knots.  All pretty tired today and I was sleeping in the cockpit with my oilskin trousers on but not jacket when Graham who was helming (usually brilliantly) got a wash wrong and completely sploshed me.  Beef stew with everything in it cooking in the pressure cooker for tonight – our new naff melamine Gibraltar bowls are essential!  Catri – I have decided that Appletiser is the best drink I bought some in the Canaries for you but don’t think they’ll be any left!
Disaster just happened the nut on the boom has gone – we had it replaced in the Canaries – not sure what we will be able to do – possibly just sail with headsails.  A complete pain  - not sure if Stephen will be able to repair it