Data at 8 AM…Engine hours: 4156.7
Fuel consumed yesterday: 96 gal., total leg fuel consumed: 868 gal.
Miles traveled yesterday: 173 nm, total leg miles traveled: 1,478 nm
Weather: SW wind 15 – 20 kts., mostly clear w/ haze, temp ~70 degrees
Seas: SW wind wave 4 – 6 ft., swell hidden in there somewhere
Barometer: 1004 MBA
Water temperature: 66.7 F
Midnight to 0300 watch
There is something to watch tonight. A sailboat is paralleling us at a range of 1.75 miles. Given its erratic, wind-controlled speed, compared to ours, the calculation of CPA (closest point of approach) is meaningless. The readings say everything from ‘collision in an hour’ to ‘you’ve already missed it’; totally meaningless. So, I’m watching. It has the right-of-way, so it’s our responsibility to stay clear. The French-speaking captain is aware of our presence.
Sleep, sleep, blessed sleep. That’s post watch, just to be clear.
We’re still 350 miles out from Horta, but it seems preparations for arrival occupy everyone’s spare mental capacity.Parts for repair, technicians arriving for repairs, docking arrangements, dinner reservations, tour arrangements. The scheduled pot luck has been scrapped in favor of Stefan’s offer to take all 18 of us out to dinner. Such is the price to avoid cooking, apparently. In any case, the motion passed unanimously.
Today is the first wave of deteroriating weather. At mid-afternoon, there’s been a slight increase in wave size to about 6 ft. I believe cooking is possible in these conditions, but we have stopped dragging fish lures. If it picks up only a bit through the night, as the forecast predicts, it will be ‘piece o’ cake’. I’m very impressed by how well Moxie tracks in a following sea, and how well the stabilizers flatten the ride. Tomorrow promises much reduced wind and wave, but increased swell. Thursday, as we arrive in Horta is the second, stronger pulse.
2100 to midnight watch
We’re getting a touch of rain, the first of the trip worth labeling as such. Still, it’s just squalls, with the cells moving through pretty quickly. In the saloon, with the back door open, it’s cool. In the pilothouse, though, with all these hot-shot electronics, and the doors closed, it’s stuffy. And as quickly as I write that, the squalls disappear and the wind drops…and a door is tentatively opened. It takes an hour to convince me, but the front has passed and the seas are beginning to settle down. The rapidity of the transition was truly striking.
We managed to cook a regular meal (tika masala chicken, cauliflower, rice) at dinner time, but just barely. I was tempted to poll the other boats to see what they had done, but decided that it might be taken as bragging.
We’re seeing more commercial traffic:three freighters today that were close enough to monitor for adequate CPA. It’s been less than one per day since leaving Bermuda.