11 December 2013

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday we were becalmed in a sweltering heat and going nowhere and today we are flying downwind in a fine and cooling NNE F4-5.
Yesterday evening we had just enough wind to set the mainsail and we drifted, more than sailed, downwind. By 0300 the gurgle of water alongside told me the wind had picked up and I made my way on deck. I was still half asleep and I sat squinting and blinking in the cockpit for a while till I woke up a little and could see what was happening. To get on course we had to gybe round. The wind was almost dead astern and the Genoa could be poled out. At one point while I was doing this my headtorch was angled down into the water and I could see the almost luminous green shapes of fish swimming in time with us. We were in the middle of a school of Dorado. They had adopted us for the night and were swimming alongside till morning. It was almost a ghostly scene but not in the least bit eerie.

By morning the wind had picked up further to a F4-5 and veered round so I could drop the pole and we were on more of a broad reach. Every wave that rolled in and lifted Elsi’s stern surged us ever nearer to the equator. In the sky far above us grey clouds the size of small village’s were also carried southwards on the back of the wind.
I sat in the cockpit most of the morning enjoying the sailing. To celebrate I baked another bread. The smell of fresh baked bread in the boat is wonderful. I gave it a little to cool then stuck in the knife. The combination of the warm crisp crust and the soft bread inside was delicious and I enjoyed every mouthful!

We had another visitor. I saw this small green dot on the side-deck and thought it was something that had washed onboard during the night. But it was a small insect, bright green and about the size of a ladybird. I got a photo of it and then it took off and flew out over the ocean.

The days run is very good considering that it is really only 12hrs and not 24hrs. We hardly moved at all until midnight. Now that the wind is up and we are moving the Aerogen is turning and so is the shaft alternator. Usually I can only charge one battery at a time but there are plenty of amps coming in so both batteries are getting charged.  Not a lot of sun today but we don’t need the solar panel in any case.

Anyway it’s very good to be moving again and sailing so well. Keeping up this speed and course we can cover 2 degrees or 120nm in a day. The equator is getting nearer!

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