12/12/2009, 900 nautical miles to land anywhere
is very hot; 29 degrees both inside and outside the cabin; not to talk
about how it feels in the straight sunshine on deck. It is the first
time I long for the evening, when it gets a bit cooler. This morning I
was dangling my feet over the rail and from time to time had them
dipped into the waves; hoping that there would be no hungry shark
looking for her breakfast. It is Friday and we are five days out of the
Cape Verde islands. We have seven or eight days to go to Barbados. I
just met Benny the grass hopper doing a walk on deck, while I checked a
I am astonished that we don't encounter any squalls. Every book and sailing account talks about the tropical line squalls. Hans and I looked them up in the books and peered at the photos. The trades are blowing 18-22 knots straight from the East. This is not a great wind angle for us wanting to go 265° to Barbados, but the miles are ticking away. Our daily distances have been 178.5, 166.6, 169.4 and 185.8 nautical miles since Monday noon.
At the navigation table I am having one of the vitamin C tablets that my mother sent with me for the whole crew. The view from the table is quite different, with deep blue Atlantic rollers - with small cute white caps on them, from the views at my desks at the office in the City or at my study at home in London. I wonder how it will feel to be home again. Quite possible a more difficult transition than setting out.
I have just started the early morning watch. It is 06.25 on Saturday morning. No opportunity to buy the Weekend FT or have a hot bath with my five year old Brendan before bringing a cup of tea to Imelda. Hans has just woken me up and I am staggering around the boat to find my feet. I need some coffee to feel more awake. I read in the log that we are approximately the same distance from Cape Verde and from Cabo Orange at the border between Guyane Française and Brazil; they are both 900 nautical miles away. This will then be the furthest away from land that we will be for the whole trip: 6 days sailing. We pray that nothing serious goes wrong here.
It is now daylight. I have just written a bigger piece on the daily life onboard. This will be published tomorrow. Watch this space! Dawn was different today, more clouds ahead. At noon, when I post this entry, we have done 183 nautical miles since yesterday. We will pass the half way mark between Cap Verde and Barbados today. One thousand miles have been sailed since Cap Verde and thousand miles to go and indeed two thirds of the distance since Tenerife. Another two reasons for celebration? I am not sure Peter has enough champagne bottles though.