Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Across the Caribbean Sea

11:00 Saturday 28th January 2017 with just 150 miles to Bonaire. 13 02.70N 66 40.03 W

We have had two nights at sea and the wind, fitful enough yesterday evening to motor for an hour, has strengthened nicely to 25 knots from the ESE,giving us 7-9 knots on a broad reach under full sail. We have begun settling into the routines of passage making, with 3 hour watches, and 9 hours off watch.

Mark is sitting in the shade of the aft Bimini practicing his ukelele, and making me feel bad that mine goes unplucked. Emily has taken the over-ripe bananas and is making banana bread. Justin is on watch and has been hand steering, getting the feel for the unfamiliar hydraulic steering. The autopilot still does better than any of us, and we blame the lack of feedback from the rudders which would build our instinctive response. We have just trimmed the sails to try to balance the boat better, but in so doing she rounded up a bit and there was a sudden crash from below as half a dozen eggs careered off the galley onto the floor. I found Emily clearing up and looking hot and harassed, and so I set about a couple of long overdue jobs; a) restraining the boxes of food under the companionway steps, which had slid to starboard and hit the eggs, and b) positioning a fan in the galley to cool the cook.

As we head south it feels hotter, and it's important to keep hydrated. However the watermaker is working smoothly so it has been possible to let the crew have a shower which has been a relief. Poor Emily is suffering from a chest infection picked from Lottie last week, and is coughing away, but fortunately beginning to feel better this morning.

Yesterday our main diversion was dolphins at dawn and again at dusk, leaping high out of the water, and then showing off under our bows for a while before vanishing without any apparent farewell gesture. Then just we were thinking there were no other ships, the African Grouse cargo vessel over took us heading for Panama. We looked across the mile and wondered whether to call on the VHF for a chat, but left the professionals to their work.

Justin has been assiduously fishing, first with the much repaired Watamu Yoyo, and then rehabilitating his old reel from our 2005 ARC crossing to fit on the Ocean Pro rod that Antony sent us. However the long rod put the line high in the wind so that it consistently drifts across to get snarled in the Watamu Yoyo line. Eventually we focussed on one or the other, but so far without success........

We had a recurrence of the current leakage problem again, with ominous red lights on the monitor, but we couldn't trace the problem. To my relief the leakage has stopped as mysteriously as it started, leaving us scratching our heads for a cause and a future solution.

Ahead lie Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba, which promise new island experiences under Dutch Influence and then we tackle Colombia and the surprising possibility of meeting our aunt Kate Kendon who is exploring the country.

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