Monthly Archives: November 2010

Atlantic Crossing Day 8

Beautiful day, the huge waves are gone, the sun is shining bright, the wind is a very light 10kn, we are just ghosting along.

SailMail is how we get emails and weather reports has been giving us fits lately. Mostly because we have been over using it, we are supposed to be allowed only 30 mins a day, but each email is taking like 3-5 mins to get delivered on slow connections. Now that its real early in the AM, I can get a fast connection but we are over our time limit. So that means no more weather reports till our ban is lifted. Also means no updates to friends and families.

We are 500 miles from shore and you would think you are on lake austin at night its so smooth out here you could go bare-footing. The bio-luminesce behind the boat is really cool, green fireworks show that follows us along and off the bows as they move through the water.

Great day for all crew, breakfast tacos, samiches, and brochette for dinner.

Took the opportunity to fix a few things that had broken earlier in the rougher weather. Topping lift is back to new, no more rope tied together, Marvin’s long arms allowed him to reach the end of the boom with out some boom balancing that I was going to try. Also, fixed they lazy jacks that had come undone a couple nights ago, another trip up the mast to get the wayward lazy jack. Now the main sail can fall back into the bag where it belongs.

Also hooked up AIS so we can see the ships close by, using a Simrad AI50, nifty little device. Just a temporary hook up its working quite nicely spoted a few ships out here, but nothing closer than 15 miles so far

All in all a great day and crew is resting peacefully with no waves or wind at this time, just the drone of one engine pushing us along, hoping that tomorrow brings favorable winds and access to SailMail.

Course over ground: 255 Speed over ground: 4.7kn Total miles through water: 1037 Miles to destination: 2030 kn if we were a bird.

A Woman’s Perspective – Day 7

Thank goodness Matt has been good about blogging as I have not been able to get near the computer.  I have been trying to write my point of view of the crossing in my journal but I find I need my journal for an emotional release more than a documentation of the trip.  I know Matt is blogging about the escapades of our trip, the food and the weather so I don’t need to capture that information – but I did want to write down a female’s perspective of the crossing.  We are using sail mail through the USB radio (someone on the boat has to have an FCC license in order to get a sail mail email address) which is great because you can receive and send email.  But it is slow and limited.  The biggest issue for us has been the size limitation (with 4 people on boat and daily grib file downloads we seem to exceed the size and time each day (limit is 90 minutes a week).  Keep in mind that the time it takes to get and keep a connection counts toward your limit.  Even with these drawbacks, this is better than nothing and it would be horribly lonely without that contact – highly recommend using it or something similar.

My dare devil husband had to go back up the mast to fix the lines again.  It’s a good thing that he is brave enough to do these tasks, strong enough to complete them and smart enough to figure out what needs to be done and dumb enough to ignore his previous bruises.  Everyone now defers to him for guidance, instructions, and sailing trim.  We thought we would be learning, but it appears that we or Matt is the expert and is leading more than following.  He certainly seems to have more knowledge about the sail trim, sail destination, and sail plan.  Thank goodness he is on team Christine J

Atlantic Crossing Day 7

Sunday is the day of rest after all, so that’s what today was all about. Slowed things down, got some peaceful sleep, not too much crashing over waves. Oh did I say waves? 15+ footers were everywhere all day long with about 30kn of wind. Just trying to hold our course till better sailing conditions arrive. We are running one motor and a small jib out front. Not winning any races this way but has a slow comfortable feel in the boat.

The sounds of a catamaran are so much different than the somewhat soothing sounds of a mono hull. Working toward the wind you always have quartering waves, the small ones do nothing but the larger ones sometimes smack the side of the vertical hull with a loud bang, we haven’t had much bridge deck slamming – when the waves hit under salon between the hulls. The monohulls ride lower in the water and the sides are curved when they are healed over, the vertical side of the catamaran sometimes makes you think you are hitting things, but if you watch it out the excape hatch you can just see the wave slap the side of the hull. One of the things that makes getting a good night sleep a challenge out here.

My bruises from the Cirque du Soliel try out are coming in quite nicely, Christine said I need to be quiet or she’ll batter me some more.

Chicken alfredo for dinner, pretty yummy stuff, surely hit the spot. Slept well almost too well, now I want to go back to bed, but its my 1-4am shift. Still cool at night, long pants, long sleeve water proof tops for the spray on Mr Toad’s Wet Ride. Washed the boat in a 2 thunderstorms too, course the spray came right back and salted it up again.

Crew is all feeling good, no one really tried to get extra rest but everyone looked less frazzled then the day before. Today when the sun comes up, we’ll untie the main and start to get some more speed out of the boat and tack to weather as it seems the wind will only come from the due west. The waves have settled down a bit by now, the wind is down in the mind 20s so its time to heat it up, but with all the jury rigging of the sail bag, its probably best to wait till light to undo that mess so no more lines chafe through.

Course over ground: 222 Speed over ground: 2.6kn Total miles through water: 912 Miles to destination: 2131 kn if we were a bird.