Record

Some record are epic and last for many years, I remember Bob Beamons record in the Olympic Games in Mexico 1968 he jumped 8,9 meters in long jump, he totally crushed the old record. I was 11 years old at that time, and become over 50 before the record was beaten. So what has that to do with our “sailing”? Well we have made a record not epic, on the contrary a record to forget and hope it will not be beaten by us for a very long time. Yesterday at 18:41 we turned off our engine, then it had been working non stop for 68 h and 42 minutes, except for a short stop just to check the oil. We made 392 nM speed 5,8 knots. But the reward came yesterday, just after sun-set the Trade-wind started and after maybe an hour it was very brisk. We could alter the course more south and on a broad reach we went like a bullet 7,3 knot average add a counter current of maybe 1,5 knots I.e boat speed close to 9 knots through the water during the night, The wind is expected to be in the range 18-25 knots with gusting 30 kn until we get to Antigua. Boat Speed is still around 9 kn with reefed down Genua and Main and full Mizzen.
Before the wind set in yesterday Kerstin prepared ready meals for us for the remaining trip in the warm and bumpy galley, lack of wind does not mean lack of waves. For dinner we got Barracuda fish burger, tasted very good, my best fish burger ever. The brisk sailing is exciting and fun, but not very comfortable, sleep is not very good, and one has to move very carefully aboard not to hurt your self.
Position 24 11 N, 60 33 W, distance to Antigua 490 nM will probably arrive Thursday night- Friday morning.

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Motoring Motoring

Still motoring I have not dared to calculatedly how many hours we have been running the engine without interruption, to many that is for sure, but the alternative have probably been less attractive. When listening to Chris Parker who answers questions from cruisers of best options to progress towards desired targets, one can understand that boats further west are in for some hard up wind sailing for several days. In connection with the tropical wave the trade-wind will be around 20-25 knots rather gust 30-35 and several squalls up to 45 knots swell up to 10-12 feet. Our rather slim experience is that American overestimate potentials ordeals, but in this case We try to play it as safe as possible. According to the forecast we will have a very brisk sail mainly broad reach down to Antigua. We expect to encounter the trade wind around sunset today. Then we hopefully can sail SSE for a day then S until we reach 22 degree North. We should not be below N 22 before Wednesday as the tropical wave have some nasty weather on the menu for potential “customers”. We are running low on diesel so we took the opportunity to fill 80 liters from jerrycans into the main tank so we should be good by that.
The Barracuda we caught was on the menu yesterday tasted delicious white and firm meet, would probably be excellent to have in a fish soup, we will try when the going is less bumpy. We had some concerns about ciguatera poisoning, but as the fish was caught several hundred miles from any reef, the risk should be minimal, and so was the case, no one have any symptom. Position 26 19 N 61 54 W. 561 nM to go.

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Some drama

Yesterday just after sending the latest blog posting, we got yet another fish on the hook, my brother Thomas reeled it in and I was the “Hook Man” it was a real beast a Barracuda ca 105 cm long, the teeth was large and sharp but we manage to land it very swiftly. To take care of a fish with that size is a bit of a job on a vessel at sea when waves rocking the boat. Fish blood smears out on deck and it looks rather messy the fish as well as the deck is slippery so quite a job, not without risk of falling and hurt your self. Then Kerstin says she felt the smell of fire. Fire aboard is probably one of the most dangerous things that could happened, if it get going you just have a minutes or so to put out the fire and if not successful a minute or so to abandon the boat bringing all safety gear and grab bags with you. I went down below and a small scent indicating a possible fire aboard, but where did it come from? the good thing the smell did not increased, after a minute or two I found the cause, it was the 24 to 12 volt converter who supplies 12 v to our navigation equipment, a VERY important part, difficult to be without. The converter a big green thing with a metal casing with ventilation grids was hot, very hot one could not hold the hand on it, when measuring the temperature with an Infrared temperature measuring device I have, I found 130 degrees centigrade inside the ventilation grid. Not good at all, by turning it of we would loose all navigation equipment until I have had time to exchange it, that would take several hours in a rocky boat, with me lying uncomfortable in an awkward position on the floor board to reach the cables, nothing I would desired to do on land, much else now. What to do? Both Kerstin and I came to the same conclusion rather quickly, let’s put in a ventilation fan and cool it down, after a few minutes the fan was in place and luckily it worked. Gradually the temperature went down and by evening it had more or less ambient temperature. We keep a close eye on the converter, the probable cause is that I have put a few things in the cabinet it is mounted in and the cabinet ventilation hole was blocked. More drama might follow as a tropical wave is approaching and will bring very rough weather close by, but I am relatively relaxed about it as It is believe to pass just south of us, but it will make the trade-wind we encounter later much stronger, hopefully it will come on the beam or even better aft of the beam, so the final ride down to Antigua could be fast and exciting, now the condition is rather boring still motoring. Pos 27 04 N 64 14 V. 623 nM to Antigua.

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”Not much happens”

Not much happens, that is true for us, but for some others the going is tougher. On SSB radio we heard one (did not got the name of the boat we could only hear Chris Parker on the SSB) boat need to go back to North Carolina in not so nice weather, crossing the Gulf Stream again, the Coast Gard will send out an helicopter to assist them. An other boat broke the fore stay and redirect to Bermuda to get it fixed, a third boat with 3 children aboard with a broken autopilot need to hand steer for a few days facing some rough weather, they also redirect to Bermuda. The only drama we have luckily so fare is to land an other Mahi Mahi while posting this.
Since 1600 yesterday we are mainly motoring in 10 kn Head wind, not much wind expected for the coming days. Hope we get the trade-wind at West 61 North 25 30’, 340 nM from where we are right now. 28 02 N 66 41 W. Rum line to Antigua 725 nM. But more likely 850 to go. As the night motoring was rather smooth I got my first “ proper” uninterrupted sleep of ca 3 hours. Our un experienced crew still say it is fabulous! to be out on the ocean.

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Uneven progress

Wind not in our favor sometimes not very much wind at all, sometimes right on the nose, so we alternate motoring and sailing. Now we are doing good speed 7-8 kn closed hauled with 15-18 kn wind, but in the wrong direction. According to Chris Parker we need to reach 26N 61 W before Monday morning when the trade wind comes, it is forecasted to go from NE to SE, ie right on the nose. I asked Chris if we do not reach this position by then what will be the consequence, you will end up in Puerto Rico instead he said, Well we enjoy the nice sailing and sunshine and take it as it comes, We have a few boats within AIS distance all of them catamarans so we probably do good progress.
Fishing luck is better we landed a nice Mahi Mahi yesterday, so the rod went in again. Thomas my brother showed great skill in filleting so now he has a new responsibility aboard, Kerstin very pleased with that as she work hard in the galley serving delicious food even under difficult conditions. Brita Is very excited finding fly fish on the deck this morning.

Position 29 33 W 68 02 N Rum line to Antigua 1016 Nm.

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