December 26, 2018
Winds ESE at 15 knots
speed averaging 6.5 knots the past several hours
750 nm to go….
We finally have our wind back after two very windless days. It gets a little scary when the wind dies and the weather forecast says there should be wind,but there isnâ€™t. We checked our fuel and found we had used less than half of our 600 liter tank (after motoring a total of roughly 3 days out of 14). We also have an extra 140 liters in jerry cans so we are in good shape. Now, with the wind back, and the weather forecast looking excellent for the next five days we should hopefully not be turning on the engine again until we reach Martinique.
We had a fun Christmas/holiday celebration on the boat with Tom and Vivi with yummy food ( curried fresh mahi-mahi and an Asian cole-slaw) and even presents for everybody.
Ben asked us about how we handle sleeping, and night watch on the boat.
We all do three hour shifts for the hours of darkness , but since Tom and Vivi want to do their shifts together, they do a single six hour shift. Since we are sailing during the winter solstice, this means some very short hours of daylight. Also, because we are continuously moving west, the sun rises and sets about 20 minutes later each day so we turn our clocks back an hour every five days or so, so that sunset roughly occurs when Mark starts his watch and the sun rises just as I am finishing mine.
Mark starts out the day with the 6 pm to 10 pm shift. I try to go to sleep by 7 ( for the night) while Tom and Vivi take a nap and Mark does his watch. At 10:00 pm Tom and Vivi come on deck and Mark spends a little time with them discussing the sail plan for the night. I wake up at 4:00 am and the crew go to bed. It is a nice shift for me as I get at least two hours of darkness so I can star-gaze or moon watch, and then an hour of watching daylight breaking. Mark gets up after 7 a.m. and then we have breakfast together while the crew is still sleeping. , Mark has the responsibility of getting up and helping on deck in the middle of the night if something needs to be done and the crew is not 100% confident about what to do. This has happened two or three times so far.
By the time Tom and Vivian get up (9:30 – 10:00 a.m. ) I am usually back in bed for a nap.
The rest of the day is spent chatting, preparing and eating delicious food, napping, reading and listening to music and audiobooks.
By 6 pm we are usually done with everything and just as the sun is setting, we are once again preparing for the nightly routine.
The days go by quickly. Our big excitement is always catching fish. We have caught 7 so far ( ok, three got away at the last second, and one looked like a sea serpent and we threw it back)
We are having a great trip but are now really looking forward to reaching land. Time for a walk and a swim for all of ous.