We have passed the halfway point to Horta. We are 1000 miles from Newport and roughly 1000 miles from Horta. You would think a big celebration in order, but my trial announcement with one crew member drew a response of “only halfway?”, so I have opted to celebrate quietly. Most crew are acutely aware of our precise location in any event.
The youngsters having failed to post enough pictures, I finally learned how to compress, save and post, so hopefully this will become more visual.
The 30 knot gusts never materialized last night. We were undercanvassed and a little slower for it, but better to err on the side of caution. Cam gave the Ted talk yesterday, on cancer research and apoptosis. It was eloquent and impressive and more than a little humbling. What, you do something important, like curing cancer? He does research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Way to go Cam.
Liz and I took the 2-5 am watch. We have kept ship’s time on Eastern Standard so this watch gets better and better, except your alarm goes off at 1:40 am. Our autopilot only works from below so with any real breeze we hand steer, taking 45 minute mini-shifts. It is quite enjoyable. At one point Liz looked North and deadpannned “It’s about to rain, a lot”. And rain it did, but only for about 30 min. Sunrise at 3:30 am was breathtaking (see photo). Then a rainbow appeared behind us , so vivid it startled you when you looked over your shoulder. A small pod of small dolphins came up to say hello, Liz laughing at their playful ways.
Matt and Dana came on watch at 5 am, cheerful. We shook out reef 2 and soldiered on. Cloudy skys and winds variable.
One of the biggest surprises of the trip is how busy we are. Chores abound: cooking, cleaning, making water, charging batteries, navigating, steering, changing sail configuration, fixing broken stuff. Though our watches are spaced nicely, you nevertheless feel an important urge to grab sleep ahead of a late-night watch. (The crew wishes you to appreciate this so as to explain their slovenly posting habits.)
The wind has now moved to the ENE and the swells have picked up. We just took a wave over the bow that dribbled saltwater through the dogged-down hatch in the main cabin. Tom’s IPAD, objecting to the sudden heel, just launched itself from the setee and wedged neatly under the cabin chair. Jackie just made two loaves of bread, one cinnamon raisin. Time for lunch, Bill’s Ted talk at 1:00.