We are now just over 800 nm from St Lucia and still having a very enjoyable crossing. There is still plenty of food, including fresh melon, apples and citrus fruit which has lasted well. Although we have a problem with the generator, the engine is run in neutral for 4 hours a day to charge up the batteries.
5 whales visited us for a couple of hours yesterday and swam so close to the boat they virtually touched it – we were a bit concerned about the rudder but they were very careful whales. Flying fish have been landing on deck regularly but we haven’t seen any more dolphins.
The ocean is spell-binding, so clear and blue. The swell is constant and increases in front of a squall but it hasn’t been a worry so far and the boat copes brilliantly with it. Our cruising chute has been our main sail during the day and sometimes at night if the weather is stable, otherwise we use the genoa for safety. We are making over 5 kts most of the time but are taking it easy, not looking for high winds as it might spill the dinner! We heard that some crew on other boats had been thrown out of their bunks but we haven’t had anything like that during the past fortnight. It is sometimes difficult to shower, as you need one hand to hold onto the handrail or you just go flying. Mostly we just sit down to shower.
It is very warm at night so a lighter pair of waterproof trousers and jacket for the squalls would be useful as the solent set I have is too heavy. The rain is very intense during the squall, giving the boat a good wash off but everything dries very quickly afterwards in the hot sun.
We are all very relaxed on board and when off watch can sleep, sit on the bow, read or just watch the waves. We each have 24 hours on watch every 5 days, except me – I have an extra 2 hours. It gives us plenty of free time, which Jamie uses to work on his celestial navigation, James reads and fishes, Rob reads his kindle books and I look at the ocean, totally mesmerised.
Life on board has been lovely so far and hopefully our final few days won’t provide any unpleasant weather or issues. It will be strange to be on solid ground again!