So far the Atlantic is on the bottom of our list of ocean passages! We just passed halfway last night so we have about 1100 more miles to go before we reach Antigua, cross our earlier path and complete our circumnavigation.
It hasn't been dangerous but has been a lot of work holding on and changing sail configurations and trying to sleep! We have had lots of "washing machine" mixed swell and waves from several directions. Until last night we had 20 knots usually unless we were going thru a weather cell and then all hell breaks lose!!! Actually, it's not as bad as thunderstorms...we just got old!! We should have clocked more than 120 miles a day going 6-7 knots but we are going way up and down and also zigzagging back and forth under the windvane in swooshy seas. The windvane has held the course awesomely! And another boat like our out here has had situations of the autopilot not holding the course so we really appreciate the Hydrovane.
These first days haven't all been weary...we did have 3 very nice sailing days and the nights have been bright with incredible moonlight. I tried and could actually read my Kindle by it!!! I do use big print on the Kindle. Books, Podcasts, music and ipad games keep us busy until time to try and sleep.
Now we are at 17 06 N, 44 15 W and have under 10 knots of wind in 3' seas [still jerky] so we are going walking speed, 3-4 knots or mph for the lubbers. Now, we find out that there is some weather system sucking all the wind into the Caribbean and it's gonna be "slow to NO" for who knows how long. All the other boats in our "net pod" stretched across the Atlantic, have had rain except us so we are nice and salty. One big breaker exploded right beside the boat when 3 12' crests seem to come together...that was exciting and left us salty. Shoulda heard me scream! We have had short waves...walls of water come upon us...up to 15' high and we slide down them like some sort of tilt-a-whirl. It has been exciting to watch us go up as they slip under us and 2-3 more are right behind them coming from different directions twisting the boat from side to side. This isn't as sloppy as rounding Sri Lanka but it's not something we wanna do for many days and nights. We think we may have left too early for the trade winds to get all "set in" but, if we weren't willing to gamble we wouldn't be here!
We have not seen any other being for 1100 miles except flying fish [about 3 a day on deck] and seabirds. No fish yet and we have been trying. This is no shipping zone! Good thing we have our net of other voyagers to talk to and compare weather notes.
At least today it's calm enough and we are having our thanksgiving dinner of baked chicken breast over seafood stuffing, baked yams, waldorf salad and Champaign! We are thankful for so much. We did have a little service from the prayer book on first sunday in Advent. It's is always an awesome and spiritual experience to be on an ocean passage. This adventure will make for a meaningful Christmas, if we make it by then!
Thanks for the prayers and wishes of encouragement. It means a lot to know folks are thinking of us. There is a lot of time to reflect during passages, and things come into perspective. There is just nothing like it and even if this passage was our best, and not at the bottom, we would treasure it. It's something few get to experience. Life will never be the same.
Lynn and Chuck on CYAN
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