Sunday, 13 March 2016

Caribbean Inbound Day 20

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 02 33S 038 26W, saillng at 5.5 knots on a course of 340M.  Our ground speed is 6.5-7.0 knots.  The wind is ESE at 10-15 knots with a 1m sea.  We are sailing under full main and single-furled yankee.  Scattered small cumulus.  Our day's run was 123nm, our DMG was 141nm and we have 1814nm to go.

At midday today we moved our clocks back to the UTC-3 time zone, having crossed 37.5W latitude last night.  The stats above don't include the extra hour by the way.  We would celebrate but for the oppressive heat which would probably give us headaches if mixed with even a little alcohol.  We'll save the tots for crossing the equator.

Yesterday evening we saw our first thunderstorm for quite a while.  It was many miles away over the land.  Looked like it was in the final stages of collapse.  The GRIBs show plenty of rain over the land each afternoon.

Sunset Yesterday

Yesterday afternoon and overnight winds stayed around 12-15 knots which kept us moving nicely.  At sunset we dropped a reef in to be on the safe side and the boat was still doing 5 knots boat speed and 6 knots over the ground.  We didn't want to risk a squall sneaking up on us, particularly when the wind was sufficiient to keep us moving along quite well.

Around dawn the winds lightened off as they frequently seem to do.  We shook out the reef which restored our speed to 5 knots plus 1 knot of current.  The current has certainly made a big difference to our DMG!

We've had a steady stream of cargo ships passing by, some down to about one mile CPA (closest point of approach).  Haven't had to call anyone on VHF for some days.

The afternoon net is down to half a dozen boats now since several have made port in Brazil.  Today we're slipping the net a further hour later to 2100utc.  Nice being net controller - one can shift the net when one's own ship time slips. ;)  When we pass French Guyana we expect one boat to join the net - they've spent a few days there for R&R.

I've finally finished Ken Follett's novel World Without End.  For a while I thought it should be named Book Without End!  Despite its length it had a lot of interesting stuff about English history and customs in the 14th century.  I'm now rereading Steve and Linda Dashew's Mariner's Weather Handbook, another enormous work.  Studying the section on squalls with particular interest.

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