We are at the latitude of the windward leeward islands down in the Caribbean and just about half way across Africa. We are getting occasional notifications through the Inmarsat-C, reports about piracy, warnings to stay away from some of the coastal towns off Western Africa. So we’re in that range, but quite a ways off.
We are crashing as we go across the trade winds, pounding along. It is hard to imagine that everything holds together. Sometimes it doesn’t, but hopefully it will. I think every skipper that I’ve heard from ahead that has gone through this thinks that this is about the worst part of the whole voyage. The weather systems are not coming and overtaking you. They are just staying, all the way up to 20 degrees north and a little bit beyond, which is 1200 miles from the equator. The wind blows out of the northeast, and it builds a sea, and you have to go across it. And that’s that. We’re at 15 degrees now, and making progress. But it is hard, very hard.
The weather forecasts up ahead are quite confused, after we get up to 22 degrees north, when we get out of these trade winds. It looks like a couple low pressure systems will be coming through, mixed in with a few small highs, and its actually quite difficult to forecast what’s going to happen. We’ll be up there in the next day or so, and presumably the forecasts we get then will have a little bit more reliability in them.
But, we have what we have, for at least the next 36 hours, if not 48 hours. Again, it’s the kind of situation on the boat where you have to be holding on at all times or you will get hurt. I have to go to the lazarette each day to tighten up one allen screw on one hydraulic ram. I go back there with a helmet on and the visor on. When I went back there last night about midnight, the helmet took 2 pretty good blows. So thank goodness for the helmet.
14° 03’N x 36° 06’W
True Wind Speed
True Wind Direction
Sails (click for diagram)
Mainsail (2 reefs), Staysail
77°F / 25°C
78°F / 25.5°C
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