We have popped our Cava, had our cupcake and now it feels so much better. The wind is slowly picking up and we have gybed and are aiming a bit south of Martinique now.
Yesterday we had sailed more than we had left on our GPS so we figured that we were somewhere in the middle. So we took our small Cava bottles and sat down in the sun. I sprayed Cava on Trusty and into the ocean and drank what was left of the small 30ml bottle. It wasn’t too bad but to be honest I’m not really a white wine person..
We saw a boat too yesterday, it was big, had a red spinnaker and competed in the ARC, they called us up on the VHF and they were happy about getting some wind too.
The moon is full right now and when the clouds part it’s almost as bright as daylight, we can sit outside and read or make shadowfigures in the moonlight witch make the nightwatches a bit easier. There have been nights without moonlight and with a heavy cloud coverage, those nights you’re in complete darkness, it’s like standing in room without windows.
But hey we’re getting closer! In (hopefully) less than two weeks we’re sipping rum in Martinique eating baguettes and trying to speak french..
About three hours after I posted it stopped raining, the wind stopped as well so we spent the rest of the day drifting. As the sun came up and it grew a bit warmer some of us red and half slept inside the cabin and some of us used our small gardena bottle to shower. You can get quite clean and feel a lot fresher only using 5 dl of water. A good thing when we don’t have that big water tanks on Trusty.
Apparently we’re afloat in the middle of the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) fleet, not that we’ve seen anything except for some flying fish (btw we picked up a big one on our deck, pictures coming) and some small birds that zooms around between the waves. The ARC must be more upset than we are right now, they are racing across the Atlantic, they probably go trough 20 sail changes a day trying to sail in the right direction and reef down when the hard winds pass and shake loose their reefs as the wind dies. As long as we’re sailing in the western 180 degrees on the compass we’re quite fine here on Trusty. We need our energy to complain about things, not trying to squeeze 0,3 knots more of the none existing wind. We just change the size of our genua using a furling system depending on the wind strength and let Aries (our self steer) sort the direction out.
The first thing that we can run out of is gas for the stove and about that time i guess it’s our patience that will run out, after that we’re going to be low on candy (going to happen quite close to the gas and patience) and after that water, diesel and last of all corned beef tin-cans tough it might be a tie with the chopped tomatoetin-cans.. So we’re going to have to rely on Portwine, corned-beef and dry bread-crackers to survive on if something happens. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that shall we?
The best feeling right now when it comes to the sailing part of the trip is when the winds feel it’s ok to cooperate, then the rocking slows down, Trusty stiffens up under the sail-pressure and you start to hear the sound of tiny bubbles around her. That occurs between 4,8-5,5 knots and all of a sudden we’re doing 6 knots down wind, picking up speed as we surf along with the waves. It’s a great feeling speeding trough the night with the bioluminessent alge kicking up light patches around and in our wake.
We are almost halfway there and then it’s an other cupcake and we bought some small cava bottles so we have one bottle each to celebrate with (to be popped and consumed when one goes on free watch for six hours) but we haven’t decided if we should celebrate halfway across from the canaries or when we’re in the middle of the ocean. The big bottle of proper Champagne is going to be our anchor drink for when we’re safely moored in a bay next to some palm threes.
My bunk is in the bow section of the hull and that has it’s ups and downs, both literary and figuratively speaking. Waves can make my life fun while trying to sleep, I’ve only slapped my face in the celling once and that was on Biscay but my legs are often experiencing zero gravity as we dive into a valley after passing a big wave. Figuratively it’s good to be away from the kitchen, all the cutlery, cups and pots can make a bit of a noise when we rock and roll all over the place. On the other hand the bow wave is quite loud sometimes and that can be a downside. Most of the time we sleep with earplugs to cut out the sound, at least mentally.We try to wrap towels around plates, cups and pots to stop them from making noise but after a couple of days of Atlantic waves it’s back to the percussion solo in our galley.
Well time to get up into the cockpit and look at an empty horizon for tree hours.
Today it’s raining, not that fun when you’re in a not too big of a boat crossing the ocean. Usually the person on watch can sit out in the cockpit and come in sometimes to look at our small AIS computer but now you don’t want to be outside in the rain so you spend most of your time inside and look out at the horizon once every 20 minute or so.
Crossing the Atlantic during trade-wind season (not that we actually have felt the power of the all mighty trade-winds that much) is not a hard thing to do when it comes to sailing. That’s the easy part, just hoist a couple of cloths above your boat and you’re moving. The real challenge is the waiting game. We’re on day 12 now and we’re not even halfway there, it’s the time factor that’s the hard part, the part where you actually sail the same distance you had coming down to the canaries in one go.
So now we wait and try to make our days go by as fast as possible and there are a couple of ways to shorten the time.
1. Sleep a lot, and then I mean sleep every hour you’re not on watch and/or eating. Works for a while but you tend to get a bit of a headache of to much sleep and not enough water.
2. Read a book. Rather read 20 and than kind of gives you a headache too when your brain has to process the amount of words you fill it with.
3. Games!! Works if the other two are not doing listnumbers one or two. Plus the boredom of knowing all the answers to all the questions in your trivia game because you’ve played it too much.
4. Fun small things to celebrate, like that you saw a wave that looked just like the one in yaws or that that cloud looks strikingly as the ones in Perfect Storm. Brighten up your time with a soda-can, cupcake or a piece of candy.
Yesterday in the evening the wind changed direction and died down and our VMG (speed towards the Caribbean (velocity made good)) dropped way below what’s even remotely funny so we had a party. No alcohol, we just got high on sugar from a soda can each and blasted party music on high volume while we jumped around in the cockpit looking at the dark clouds in the sunset. We had a good time before tucking in for the night (two at a time leaving one lonely person stargazing) and all of a sudden it had become today. Today it’s raining, it’s not that fun, it reminds me of Scotland and we should be listening to steelbands now not a squeeky wersion of Amazing Grace.
But smile, we’re only 1575 miles out from Martinique right now 🙂
Ok, todays post was going to be massive one about all the mileage we’ve done and how the trade-winds just keep pushing us toward the white sand, palm trees, rum, calypso, soca, reggae, Carib and fresh fruits. Yup, yesterday was a great day, the way trade-wind sailing were supposed to be. 5-6 knots with the wind in our back, sun between small puffy clouds and we even sat down with a beer each enjoying the good feeling.
The day turned into night and we still did ok, I was getting my hopes up, we could be there in 24 days total maybe, my mind was telling me. Then came dawn and with it a couple of rainclouds, the rain battered the wind away and for a while we just drifted around again. Are we going to have to make a sacrifice again?
Let’s hope that Kraken or what ever restless soul underneath us is satisfied by the two small Flying-fishes that came to rest on our deck during the night. After returning them to the sea the wind kind of is picking up again, let’s hope it stays this time.
Well we’re still alive and Trusty is doing a fine job getting us there. Still no Icebergs and well nothing much to see at all actually, only a Japanese fishing vessel out here fishing at a dept of a couple of thousand meters.
Until I post again, live slow, sail fast!! Or as we say on Trusty right now, sail slow, no power for your mp3player 😉