Day 123, Year 6 Atlantic Passage, Day 20-Big Blue Atlantic
Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011 (1730 UTC)
Weather: Mostly Sunny Day; ENE 14-18 & 18-22 Knots
Air Temperature: 80 degrees F
Latitude: 05 59.396 N
Longitude: 042 20.179 W
Miles Traveled: 2689.59
Miles to Go: 1219
Location: Passage from St. Helena to Caribbean (Grenada)
Mark was staring off into the great beyond when I asked him what he was thinking. He simply said, “It’s a big ocean out there.” I had to laugh at the understatement. Yes, indeed, it is a big, blue Atlantic Ocean. Well, at least it is blue when the sun is shining. The 6,000 miles from South Africa to the Caribbean would be like getting in your car in New York City and driving round trip to Los Angles going only 6 miles an hour. Day after day all we see is this ocean stretching as far as we can see in any direction. On stormy days, the gray clouds fade right into the gray ocean-the color of modern Navy battleships. On sunny days the ocean is a deep blue meeting a horizon dotted with white puffy clouds and a lighter blue sky above. Some days we have a brilliant blue sky, but the further north we get, the hazier the sky. We are still battling with big seas. The seas are about three meters, but some are much bigger and they cause Windbird to lurch from side to side. Yesterday after writing the log I was headed down the companionway steps with a load of laundry and other items in my hands. The boat lurched and I couldn’t hold on and went flying to the floor below. Thankfully nothing is broken but I pulled a muscle in the one arm that held on the longest. In talking with Mary Anne on Traversay about this on the radio sked this morning she said that you really do have to be at the top of your game every minute when out here on passage and she is right. One wrong move can be disastrous. Mark warns me constantly to climb down with hands free and then have him hand me things, but I always tell him I can handle it. Well, I couldn’t handle it yesterday and have learned my lesson. I’ll not be climbing with a computer in one hand and books in the other or an armload of laundry anymore. Mark’s pulled muscle is recovering and mine already feels better. Lucky this time.
We continue to have wind moving us forward at about 6.5 knots. We have periods of 14 to18 knot winds alternating with periods of 18 to 22. That means adjusting the course a degree or two one way and then the other. Because of the lower wind periods today, we have the headsail out full again, but the main remains double-reefed. Eights day to go.