12/04/2009, 160 nautical miles NNE of Cape Verde Islands
was woken up by Hans twenty minutes before my watch starting at 0200.
He had seen new cloud formations that we hadn't seen before. We
expected a squall and were discussing how to best reduce sail, however
the clouds blew past and conditions remain very smooth. If anything, we
are experiencing slightly lighter wind than before; bordering between
force 4-5. QRIII has slowed down to a more gentle pace; it is like a
symphony oscillating between fast and boisterous phases and more
gentle and slow ones. We will not repeat yesterday's record breaking
run today. However, it appears that we've picked up the North Easterly
trades already at the Canaries. This is very lucky if I compare it to
the sailing accounts that I have read.
Yesterday, I felt that Queenie was an extension of my own body. I was standing on the swim platform at the stern with my feet at times engulfed in the swirling seawater and holding on to the pushpit. She felt like a huge surf board dancing playfully on the waves ignoring her 25 tons of weight. Later, I was lying on my belly at the foredeck peering down over the side into the ocean; occasionally a wave would wet my face. She was like a dolphin jumping from one wave to the next carrying at speed on its slopes. After dinner last night, the near full moon was out and the music was flooding out of the speakers, Peter and I was looking aft from the cockpit at the almost sensual movements of the stern being tossed up and down by the waves. She was like a mermaid or sea mammal making her way across the ocean.
Visible sea life to us has been restricted to the occasional bird and flying fish. Hans saw yesterday a big shoal of flying fish jumping off the waves. Unfortunately, not something that is easy to catch on camera. We are now North and West of our Cape Verdian waypoint; the spot where we can lay a more direct course to Barbados. Later on today, we will cross the line from this waypoint to Barbados. It will be a movement for celebration. It shows up like a blue line on the computer screen, we wonder what it will look like in reality.
It was one week yesterday since I arrived on Tenerife and our final frantic preparations started. The fresh food bought from the food market stayed much better than its equivalent from the supermarkets; just like Jimmy Cornell is writing in his excellent book "A Passion for the Sea". So far, it seems that we brought the right stuff with us. We are well on our way, healthy and enjoying ourselves. Nothing to complain about, on the contrary, the verdict up to now is highly positive!