Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 5: 13.052.374'N 036.36.282'W, 157nm (24h)

December 12, 1200 UTC
Distance to go: 1,295nm
Wind and waves: NE 18-23kn, 2-2,5m
Sails: Main and genoa, both reefed, starboard tack

The movement of the boat is quite uncomfortable due to the wave patterns and you really need to think where you can hang on and what you need to catch before moving or much less, opening a cupboard. The wind has also increased slightly and with reefs in both our main and genoa we are still traveling at 6,5 - 7 knots so making faster progress at the moment than expected. Life goes on on board and although Seb and I sometime feel tired of the wobbliness, Emma and Macsen seem to think it is rather fun and don't complain at all. We saw out first dolphins today. A pack of about six that stayed with us for the whole afternoon. Seb and I took turns sitting on the bow (with lifejacket and lifeline) watching them as they jumped through the waves. They were able to perfectly synchronize their movements and I have never seen such a show.

So far the weather outlook appears to promise a continuation of the weather that we have had to date. We download weather faxes, grib files (wind direction and strength) and wave information daily via the SSB. We are also extremely fortunate and grateful to get daily personal updates from Wierd's (Tangaroa) uncle, Jimmy Lengkeek. Jimmy and his wife Tineke cruised the world for six years on their sailing boat 'Gabber' and have written several books (which we used a great deal in our preparations) and it is wonderful to have such an expert supporting us. He sends us information on the weather systems over the Atlantic and the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) an area with very light or nonexistent winds also known as the Doldrums. And analysis from various weather sources (ie on what we can expect. He has also given us some great information on squalls, where you can expect them, what they look like and how to prepare ourselves. On a daily basis we report our 1200 UTC position and the actual weather we are experiencing back to Jimmy. Every morning at 1100UTC there is an update call via SSB with the Tangaroa, Mjolner and Victory in which we discuss our positions, weather, sail trim, fishing successes and generally review how we are doing and feeling. Emma and Sophia have also used this as a forum to sing songs to each other.

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