We are currently in position 11 10N 058 41W, saillng at 6 knots on a course of 330M. Our ground speed is 6.5 knots. The wind is E at 20-24 knots with a 1.5m sea and 2.5m NE swell. We are sailing under double-reefed main and double-furled yankee. Broken small cumulus. Our day's run was 143nm, our DMG was 149nm and we have 227nm to go - a Fremantle-Geraldton!!
Bedraggled but Proud
We have been flying our small ensign throughout the passage. It started a little sad near the fly seam. It has now lost quite a bit of material and one star. Time for a new one, but I'm not sure we'll find one in the Caribbean. This is the ensign we flew throughout our SE Asia cruise too.
We have had winds of 18-26 knots during the last 24 hours. As it has waxed and waned we've had between 1 furl and 3 furls in the yankee. By the way, the terminology there relates to the markers on the yankee. They equate (more or less) to 1 furl = "No 2 jib"; 2 furls = "No 3 jib"; and 3 furls = "No 4 jib" to use the old language where boats carried N jibs for different wind strengths. At least that's how we think of them and the sizes look about right.
We have been out of the strong current for much of the last 24 hours, but have avoided getting into adverse current by staying west of the rhumb line. The boat ahead of us tried the rhumb line and her VMG fell from 6 to 4.5 knots. She's now running due west to escape. We closed the range by about 30nm in 24 hours and had much smoother seas too. We both expect to get back into positive current overnight or tomorrow.
Last night we had a nearly full moon and it was super-bright. With a cloudless sky the seas were clearly visible in the moonlight and we could trim the sails by its light too. Couldn't see many stars though!
The evening HF/SSB net is now down to a handful of boats. Many boats have arrived at their destinations, ranging from ports in Brazil, Barbados, Grenada, The Grenadines and Martinique. We continue to be net controller but with this number of boats the net becomes more of a chat than a rapid rollcall collecting positions.
We are starting to feel we're nearly there. A time for extra care and vigilance! And a time to dig out our slightly more presentable large ensign and the Q flag for our arrival.