Pilgrim’s Progress: Leander Atlantic Crossing Day 9

Leander is at 19 16 N, 35 23 W. We are sailing at (a mere) 5 knots in (a mere) 13 knots of wind. Our course is 238 magnetic. We continue to sail under jib only. We had some light squalls this morning, but it is sunny now. The weather is warming up. We now need the hatches open to get some wind circulating below during the day, and night watches can be done in shorts and a t-shirt. We wore foulies at night when we left.

Slow going. The only thing worse than rough seas and lots of wind are rough seas and little wind. A second swell has moved in from the north, pushed by a system somewhere higher up in the Atlantic. You can look about the boat and see when the two swells meet up and do a nice “clap,” making a peak like the the ice cream twist atop an ice cream sundae. It’s pretty from the distance, but every couple of minutes, that clap meets just where the boat is, and we get a nice roll, dipping one rail and then the other in the water. With little wind, it makes it very tough to keep the sails filled. Our speed has dropped to a pedestrian 4.7 knots. And bad news is that the wind is supposed to be even lighter over the next couple of days. If the seas stay lumpy, it’ll make for uncomfortable going.

We are all otherwise well. We gave the boat a good cleaning today, as it can get a bit unsightly after several days at sea. To keep the kids entertained, we’ve been handing them a new game or a toy or a book every once in a while. Two days ago, it was a new book, “Lola se va a Africa!” And today it was space toys and plastic fish. They are having a blast.

We’re still seeing sea birds. And last night, we had a visit from another flying guest. I head a loud “thump” over my head, and thought that something had fallen from aloft. It was instead the biggest flying fish I’ve ever seen – about the size of three adult fists lined up side by side. It had jumped all the way to the top of the bimini, before rolling off and falling to the deck. That was a pretty good jump out of the water, bird fish.

We sailed 124 😦 miles during the last 24 hours, for a total of 1,276 miles done, and 1,513 to go.

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