Day 109, Year 6 Atlantic Passage, Day 6
Date: Thursday, February 10, 2011 (1730 UTC)
Weather: Sunny, Blue Sky/Puffy White Clouds; SE 18-22
Air Temperature (afternoon): 81 degrees F
Latitude: 09 28.248 S
Longitude: 015 07.560 W
Miles Traveled: 702.04
Miles to Go: 3113
Location: Passage from St. Helena to Caribbean (Grenada)

We got our sunshine today and with it we got increased winds. We now have 18 to 22 knots, consistently from the SE with no squalls, just bigger, lumpier seas. We feel like we are flying even though we have a bit of a negative current against us. We don’t know where the negative current is coming from (maybe some eddies?) but we get them periodically, nor do we know why we are having these big seas. The weather is just not what we expected, but for now, we’ll take what we’re getting and be happy with it even if we do feel like we are in a Mixmaster. At least I don’t feel like a turkey any longer. When the skies were totally overcast, I felt like a tiny turkey on a huge platter (the sea) covered with one of those big silver dome-shaped covers that are sometimes put over a turkey. From my perspective, the sky when it is overcast looks like a big dome stretching from horizon to horizon. But thankfully, one day of sunshine has erased that vision from memory. If these clear skies maintain through the night, we might get some light from the new moon. It rises tonight about an hour after sunset. The nights have been so terribly dark with the overcast skies and both of us are looking forward to the increased light as the moon becomes fuller.

On the negative side, we lost two things today. I have been using an aquarium thermometer that I have had for years to measure sea water temperature. When I brought it out of the water this morning, the casing was there but the glass thermometer was missing. I guess the rough seas were too much for it. I can’t think of a replacement for it, so I guess I’m not going to know water temperature. We are using one of our refrig/freezer thermometers to gauge outside temps. It reads the inside temp accurately, so I see no reason why it won’t work outside. What we do know is that I am hot just wearing a bathing suit all day and Mark hasn’t had a shirt on for the last three days. So things must be warming up.

The other loss was more fishing gear. After losing the brand new lure a couple of days ago, Mark replaced the monofilament line with a new 30-foot piece of steel line covered in plastic. He bought this in Simon’s Town and the woman in the tackle shop said her husband catches really big fish with this. Mark attached this to the polyester line with a bungee built into it to provide a little spring. He attached it with the same swivel he has used for the past three years. Well, the swivel broke, sending the polyester line flying through the air and ending up on the side deck forward of the mast. This must have been a monster fish to take the line with such great force and we only had out a smallish squid lure. So we think we need to get that new fishing book out and see what new combination we can come up with.