We can't quite believe the steady NE breeze of 12-20 knots that is
gently pushing us on our way. Last night our wind pilot (Wendy) did
almost all the helming for us, allowing the person on watch to indulge
in a bit of stargazing until the big moon rose and lit up the night.
Today dawned bright and clear, and now there are fluffy cumulus clouds
dotted around. We can see about 4 boats on the horizon around us now,
as the fleet fans out.
I've just come off watch, having done 8-11am. It's a perfect watch to
do, starting just after sunrise, and it feels as though it is just
me and the big wide ocean. As the rest of the crew gradually emerge
from their bunks I am offered tea, then porridge, then coffee - and
all I am doing is steering with an occasional tweak to the sail. Hand
steering in these conditions is a complete joy, as the boat is well
trimmed and the sea state is pretty smooth. It's allowing us to make
about 7 knots.
It's admin "hour" now: the engine is on for a while to generate power
via the alternator and fresh water by driving our miraculous water
maker, churning out water with less then 400 ppm of salt - less than
the tap water we had filled our tanks with in Las Palmas. We have 2
water tanks each with a capacity of 330 l. We plan to keep one full tank
untouched and use water only from the other, so that if the water maker
does not work for any reason we will still have 330l of water to use
for the rest of the trip. A water budget of 3.5l per person per day
is the suggested minimum.
Next up is to connect with the satellite link to send and receive any
email. You can send us a message at email@example.com : please do!
We receive as daily text weather forecast form the ARC rally contol,
which is sent to the whole fleet ands out of necessity covers a very
large area. To help us they have divided the Atlantic in to a grid and
give us a forecast for each block, so we can get a better idea of what
to expect where we are.
In half an hour it is time for the SSB radio net. We will be connecting
with about 20 other boats in the fleet who have SSB radio sets on
board, for a position and weather update then an informal chat. We are
the net controller for today, on a rolling rota with 5 other boats.
It's the first time I have done anything like this and I need to get my
radio language right. No "over and out"!