Day 129, Year 6 Atlantic Passage, Day 26-Under 500 Miles to Go
Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 (1730 UTC)
Weather: Partly Sunny; Winds ENE/E/ENE 10-15 knots
Air Temperature: 80 degrees F
Latitude: 09 21.412 N
Longitude: 054 35.090 W
Miles Traveled: 3462 + 1878 S Africa to St. Helena
Miles to Go: 454
Location: Passage from St. Helena to Caribbean (Grenada)
We have just over 450 miles to go. We snuck under the 500 mile mark at 0630. As a comparison, it is about 500 miles from Grenada to St. Martin and we plan to make that trip in three weeks. At our present speed we have four more days which will put us into Grenada on Sunday. Other comparisons show that it is about 630 miles from Newport to Bermuda. It is 475 miles from Florida to North Carolina and only 640 from North Carolina to all the way to Cape Cod. At one time, all of these sounded like LONG passages to us. But right now, after coming almost 5400 miles from South Africa, any of these passages seem like a walk in the park. And even though the weather is not really cooperating with us as we had expected, the 450 miles from here to Grenada just seems like a long day sail (with a few nights thrown in). The hardest part is that is now seems so close but is really still so far away. I keep myself so busy that the hours pass quickly, but I think the passage is starting to take its toll on Captain Mark. He is ready for landfall.
The winds are no longer consistent. We had ENE winds most of the night, but then from 5 am to 9 am, the winds came directly from the East. Then they slowly backed to the ENE once again. With only 10 to 15 knots aft of the beam and with the one knot negative current still tagging along, we can only go about 5 knots. But the swell is down to one meter and it is gentle, no more waves bashing into the side of the boat. We are two days behind our projected 10-day countdown we started on February 22, but we are getting there. Four day to go.