And so it goes on

Position: 44° 29’N 011° 45’W

Wind. NE 20-25

Course: 110

Day’s run: 104 miles

We have big seas and winds gusting up to 30 knots. We even heaved to for a few hours this morning to try and let Tom and I get a little sleep. It’s very tedious but at least the sun is shining now. Bizarrely there’s another yacht out here about 2 miles to leeward of us. Poor sods. Those of you who spend a lot of time in the open ocean will know how rare that is.

More tomorrow no doubt….

Fun at Sea

Position: 42.04N 020.36W
Day’s Run: 154M
Speed: 5.5 knots
Course: 080T
Wind: S 10 knots

Last night’s 1800-2100 watch was amazing, even though it was raining and blowing 30 knots. It was just me on deck when the first drops of rain hit but I’d been caught out too many times not to immediately slip into my oilies and put on my Pablo beanie – I was very grateful I’d done this!

The wind picked up under the rain cloud pretty slowly but kept increasing over a course of half an hour and then whipping up to 30 knots, I had already rolled in the jib and felt comfortable with just the main and mizzen up. We were surfing along at 8.5 knots so I called Mummy up to make sure everything was comfortable down below. Because of the very heavy rain the waves were flattened out a bit so there everyone could sleep, although I don’t think anyone did!

I had snuggled into a corner underneath the spray hood for warmth and took my first look around. It was quite weird because even though it was rainy, it was no longer chucking it down and the wind wasn’t creating a monster of a sea and our visibility was still pretty good. Out to the West the sun was very slowly setting and had created a golden glow across the sky and as the rain fell the rain drops looked like golden flecks and the light had also illuminated the sails, it was pretty!

Daddy joined me at about 2045 and we discussed the weather, wind and sail trimming. I hadn’t realised by this time but I couldn’t feel my bare feet so I went down below to make coffee and put on some woolly socks.

The weather has calmed dramatically over the last 16 hours and we are now slowly creeping along at 5.5 knots over quiet, calm sea. Everyone is well and we are spending the day drying off in the sun and blue sky.

Daisy

Battered like fish

Position: 33’46’N 61’10’W
Course: 080
Day run: 175
Speed: 7 knots
Wind: SSW 14-20

We were battered yesterday. The wind was gusting 35 knots and the sea lumpy and the rain continual. We had the Mizzen and Genoa up and were making 9 knots!

I really enjoyed it when we were making faster progress, the thrill of the speed and waves coming up to meet you like you are a celebrity, bashing against the side of the boat trying to get a better look and the disappearing under the boat gushing the hull side ways – I think I was the only one who enjoyed yesterday! Dora was feeling ill and Daddy busy repairing tow generator (this is how we make electricity), we will not be able to fix it, so need to hand steer all the way to the Azores which will be hard work because only three of us are really capable of this!

We also all got drenched, the rain poured brutally and continuously until 6,  by which time we were all freezing. We started hearing thunder and seeing lightning around 8 and this stayed with us the majority of the evening making us hold our breath!

So really yesterday wasn’t a brilliant day for most, but the wind has died considerably to 14-20 knots and the sun has come out.

Daisy

Bermuda bound

Position: 18° 08’N 63° 11’W
Wind E10-15 knots

Today, the 16th May, we set off from Simpson Bay Marina, St Maarten for Bermuda. In the morning there wasn’t enough wind to sail but at the moment we are sailing along as happy as Larry. I have made a massive achievement I haven’t been sea sick! This is the first passage including day sails when I haven’t felt awful. My advice if you get sea sick ,like me, is to have something like gum to distract you and plenty of coke. The reason I’ve started using gum is because it gives my mouth something to do and if there is something in your mouth you are much less likely to be sick. I’m enjoying this sail much more than the first days of the Atlantic crossing as I am determined not to be sick. The sail to Bermuda is 1 week and then after we arrive, we cross the Atlantic again and we’re on our way home! I hope all is well we will keep you updated.

Dora

Last day at sea, hopefully…

Position: 14.25’N 59.18’W
Wind: 15-20 knots, NE
Course: 270T
Day run: 139M

We are all rather relieved that we have only one day left at sea and can’t wait to arrive and explore!
The wind has been better today so we are expecting to arrive tomorrow morning (Tuesday) and we are all looking forward to going to the bakery!
Can’t wait to get in touch tomorrow, but nothing much to report today!

Hard yakka

It can be cruel at times. We motored for seven hours yesterday with pretty much no wind until sunset when a zephyr appeared from the East. Last night we crept along under sail as the wind strengthened from less than eight knots (really very little when it’s dead behind you) to 10-12 knots as the sun came up this morning.

However, just as we were looking forward to getting going, a foul swell came winging in from the North (there’s a big storm off the Carolinas) crossing the standing trade wind wave train at right angles and leaving the sea in a most confused and difficult state.

Poor Cherubino and her crew were left for three hours being flung about in the most distressing manner. Pols and I shared our thoughts, which I regret to say were not fit to air in a family blogpost. The thing, of course, is that when you haven’t had more than three hours consecutive sleep for three weeks one’s sense of perspective can suffer.

Happily, the North swell has now moderated and the wind is up to 15-20 knots so we’re making good progress again. Fingers crossed still for arrival on Tuesday.

Tom

Engines on

Position: 14.48N 054.16W

Wind: 5-6kts E

Course: 265T

Day’s Run: 125M

After a week of very light trades, the wind finally conked out this morning and we’re motoring West on a gently undulating sea under a blazing sun. The decks are hot enough to fry an egg on, so I’m dousing them with sea water every hour or two to keep the temperature down.

The way the boat’s winches, sheets and backstays are arranged means we can’t use a Bimini (a kind of sunshade for the cockpit) so I’ve rigged up a sonnensail to give some protection to the passengers.

Under the shade of this sun blocker Dora is sitting reading yet another thick volume of her cat (or is it rabbit?) saga with both feet plunged in a pail of freshly scooped up Atlantic.

We’ve less than 400M to go now and with the promise of wind setting back in from this evening we hope to reach Martinique sometime on Tuesday. Then it’ll be time for a cooling lager beer followed by a long sleep.

Zoned In

Position: 14.30N 050.10W
Wind: 12-15kts, ENE
Course: 285T
Day’s Run: 126M

The wind remains light and so we’re still making pretty slow progress, 126M in the 24h to noon. Later on this afternoon we’ll reach 052.30W and enter our fourth (and final) time zone of the trip, when we move ship time to GMT-4. In the meantime our supplies of fresh food have now been pretty much exhausted – Polly was found to have reserved the last half of the last apple for her own extraordinary breakfast – rye bread with peanut butter and apple!?! Such delicacies are long gone from the steerage menu, where my offer to the girls of baked beans and sausage for lunch led to a mini mutiny. Fortunately the Ginger Nut situation remains healthy so there’s no real crisis on the horizon yet.

For those curious about the technology we use to keep in touch, have a look in the FAQs section….

Tom

Daisy’s Perspective

Position: 14.30N 050.00W

Wind: 10-12knts NE

Course: 270T

Day’s Run:151M

So far my favourite part of being at sea with a bunch of nutters was a PE lesson. Mummy had a fun idea of an obstacle course around the perimeter of the boat with our safety harnesses on, clipping and unclipping as we went round the shrouds, forestay and backstay and in between the kicker, boom and mast, although sadly we had to stop the races because of a rather clumsy member of the family!

Another ‘interesting’ experience has been the night watches. I’m doing 6pm to 9pm each night. Dora normally pokes her head up around 7 to chatter to me about all the random things going around in her mind and to be honest, I never thought I would learn so much about desert rodents! Of course the sky is stunning with all the stars and we have been keeping watch on the new moon as it goes through the phases (we are currently on half moon).

Another thing I am really enjoying is sitting on the edge of the boat with my legs dangling overboard and my toes trailing along in the water. There is a surprising amount of sea weed wandering around and plenty of flying fish to keep us entertained. We haven’t seen any dolphins in a while although I have seen white tropic birds who are looking rather peculiar with there long tails.

I can’t wait to arrive in Martinique and go snorkelling, though I have so much energy stored up I could probably run around the island a dozen times first

Daisy

PS. Missing you very much Bingo and Aubrey! X