Atlantic Crossing – Day 3

We had already been at sea a few days and had just passed our first “waypoint” at 030°W. I was sound asleep at three thirty in the morning when Heidi woke me with a coffee to take over the watch. We were flying the parasailor so she had been busy ensuring we stayed on course despite the variable wind and she was sleeping deeply within minutes of lieing down.

I took my coffee outside to enjoy the stars. We have a new moon so most of the night we can enjoy the light of the stars with no other light sources. I am still enjoying the novelty of the North Star being so low and Orion directly above my head.

It has now been two days since we have seen any other vessels and tonight we were, once again, alone on the ocean. No navigation lights, no radio chatter and no radar pings. The wind stayed variable but the tendency was towards stronger gusts so I had a careful eye on the Parasailor. At dawn I decided to change to the genoa so woke Heidi and fifteen minutes later we were on our way again with less sail. Just as well as shortly after we were seeing 16 knots of wind.

On the deck we found an unlucky flying fish who had failed to clear our hull. I realised why I had been hearing thuds during the night as others had hit the side of the boat. That must really hurt.

We drank coffee and decided to hoist the main sail to add a little more speed. Later the wind turned behind us so we dropped the main sail. Another while later and the wind dropped so we rehoisted the parasailor. And that was the morning almost gone.

At eleven we totalled up the miles for the last 72 hours and were happy to see that we were still averaging almost five knots. We are following a great circle route and have “waypoints” every few hundred miles where the planned bearing changes. It was nice to have passed waypoint “Atlantic 1” in the night.

In the afternoon we heard a small creak and discovered that the roller holding the parasailor sheet was not attached properly. Repairing that required rerouting the guy line through a temporary roller to take the load, changing the roller mounting, substituting the starboard roller for the port roller and then moving the load back on to the sheet. And that was the afternoon gone.

I collapsed for a nap while Heidi made dough which we later converted in to home made pizza for dinner (with a cup of wine – much more stable than glasses) and onion bread for breakfast tomorrow.

And now it is dark again. I am sat outside on watch and Heidi is tanking up on sleep for the coming night.

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