Day 127, Year 6 Atlantic Passage, Day 23-Rodeo Ride
Date: Monday, February 28, 2011 (1730 UTC)
Weather: Squally AM, Party Sunny PM; NE 17-22
Air Temperature: 76 degrees F
Latitude: 07 44.605 N
Longitude: 050 37.747 W
Miles Traveled: 3204 + 1878 S Africa to St. Helena
Miles to Go: 708
Location: Passage from St. Helena to Caribbean (Grenada)
Yowsers! This Atlantic Ocean keeps throwing us curve ball after curve ball. By early morning the negative current returned and is now up to 2 knots against us. Then the winds turned more N’ly trying to push us more S’ly and that is not the direction in which we wish to travel. So we have sloppy, sloshing, swashbuckling seas pounding us right on the beam along with winds ahead of the beam and the negative current against us. The result is a rollicking, rough ride a little like riding a bucking bronco. I haven’t done that, but I can imagine. I don’t think we would normally be so affected by this, but after thirty-eight days at seas with hardly a day with calm seas, it is getting a bit wearing. I’m starting to dream of walking on a white sand beach that does not move beneath my feet and then sitting in the sun before walking again. I often walk on the beach but I never spend time sitting in the sun, but right now it sounds delicious. I might try it when I get to Grenada. It has been so overcast for most of this passage that Mark and I look bleached-out. Even when the sun does shine, we are protected by the dodger and bimini, so I’m craving that sunshine.
I baked bread today and made granola but that is as much as I could possibly do. It’s hard just to sit here. The change in the wind direction starting happening during the night so Mark had to go forward and take down the pole. We are now sailing with a double reefed main and double reefed headsail. We would be going over 7 knots if it weren’t for this current. We are still forging ahead at about 5.5 knots, so even though it is slowing us down the winds are keeping us going. The GRIBS show that we should have this for another twenty-four to thirty-six hours and then maybe the winds will go back more E’ly putting the winds more behind us again. That will be a bit rolly but nothing compared to his Rodeo Ride.