Atlantic Crossing – two weeks at sea

This morning I saw that Heidi had written the twentieth of January in the log. We left Mindelo on the sixth so today must be a Sunday and we must have been at sea for two weeks. Time, days and dates are not so important as you sail two thousand miles at an average speed of five knots an hour.

It is now nine days since we saw any other vessel. Since then we have seen nothing but flying fish and the occasional bird. Yesterday we heard some french on the radio but other than that no sign of people anywhere. We are now used to the vast emptiness around us and will probably be surprised if we actually see another sail any where near us.

We are approaching the full moon so, as long as there are no clouds, the night is no longer dark. The moon makes for beautiful seascapes but limits the stargazing. At least we have found the southern cross ready for when Polaris (the northern star) finally disappears below the horizon.

Two days ago we experimented with a lasagna made with corned beef, spreadable cheese and pasteurised cream. It was delicious. Yesterday we baked fresh bread, half with walnuts and half with bacon. We tested it warm and fresh out of the oven. No living on tinned soup for us.

Over a week ago we poled out the two foresails, one on each side and since then we have just lightly adjusted the lines each day to avoid chaffing. Each time the wind dropped we threatened to set the Parasailor but just the threat was enough to increase the wind. This morning we finally set it. Taking down the poles, tidying up, relaying lines and setting the sail was an hours work but it was worth it; we are now sailing 25 degrees off course but we are moving towards the Caribbean.

Our solar panels keep our electronics working, our lights on and the batteries topped up. With the water generator in the water we can also keep the fridge cool. The solar shower is warming up on the deck so that we can have a warm hair and body wash this evening. Apart from the gas cooker we are totally “regenerative” with everything powered by wind or sun.

We have no idea how much longer we need but that is irrelevant. We are in holiday mode.

Eight o’clock. An update. About an hour ago we were sat in the cockpit enjoying the sun when Heidi sighted a ship crossing our path just a few miles ahead. I thought she was joking but it was a real freighter heading to Brazil. We called him up per radio and he gave us the weather forecast for the next few days. There really are other people out there.

Nine o’clock. An update. Not just people out there but also dolphins. Just before sunset a group of visited us, did a few jumps, swam under the bow and then disappeared on their way.

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