2017 Atlantic Crossing

Day 20. Swallows, swells and still no wind

The clouds have cleared and the sun is shining, so today I am back navigating by the Sun and I have a fix which puts me back within 5 miles of GPS. Phew!

There is a whopping 5 knots of breeze, so we have been motor sailing most of the night and all day (and we are still on a beat).  It is another perfect day for scalloping, not for sailing. 

Two swallows flew by this morning, so we must be getting closer.  I suspect they will definitely be there before us!  

There are two opposing swells running which is strange, the larger and longer swell is coming from the north with a smaller, shorter swell from the south.  I suspect the northerly swell is being driven by a big low pressure system somewhere up toward the eastern side of the USA, and there must be another system somewhere south of us driving the other swell. We seem to be sat in the middle of the two, in a massive (1,000 mile) calm patch.  We don’t really want the weather to develop in the south or south west since we are north of the track, but any wind would be better than no wind.  

It is pretty warm out so I’ve spent most of the afternoon in the relative cool of my cabin.  

It being Monday tomorrow the watch pattern rotates again, so I get to sleep from 0000 to 0600 tonight!  Although I will need to be up by 0530 to get a star sight when the horizon becomes visible just before dawn.  This is my least favourite watch pattern, but I do get the sunrises for the final few days of the trip.   At least the distance is dropping more quickly now.  As I write this at 1730 we are almost at the 500 mile point. 

My mind starts to turn toward making landfall and I starting flicking through the charts and cruising guide for the islands.   Antigua should be the first land we see, Guadeloupe is a lot taller than Antigua, but is 45 miles further south.  Monserrat is also pretty tall,  but it is a fairly small island and we shouldn’t be able to see it until on the south side of Antigua.  I have a vague mental picture of what it all looks like, but it is stored somewhere way back in a distant memory.   Another 4 or 5 days to go all being well, then burger and chips, phone calls and wifi 🙂

Dinner is baked beans and corned beef, with the last of the potatoes used in a reasonably successful microwave attempt at chips.  Mighty!  It is my watch now until 2200, it is drizzly again, so I chance another movie night.  Tonight’s choice (and choices on board are pretty limited) was the Seige of Jadotville, which turned out to be another superb film, again based on a true story.  



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