Blog Update 15/10/2013:
We are currently at 21 Deg 04.161N and 21 Deg 18.230W, well into the tropics now although you wouldn’t think it to look at the weather outside. It has been overcast for the last 48 hours and we have at least 2 metres of swell rolling in from behind us. If it wasn’t for the watch wearing shorts and t-shirts it would look like the Irish Sea! The swell overnight has brought with it a rather bouncy boat (hold on to your tea) and numerous flying fish onto our decks, none of them large enough to warrant a tasting yet. Up close you can see their purple and red colours clearly and just how large their ‘wings’ are compared to their bodies. Photos to follow when we next get wifi.
For the last few days we have been flying along, with the prospect of a stopover in the Arquipelago de Cabo Verde getting ever closer. The consistently high winds (particularly during our watches it seems) and swell have led to some spectacular waves breaking just behind the boat. Just after dusk last night our watch experienced the juxtaposition of pleasantly sipping peppermint tea whilst surfing down almost 3 metre swells at 13 knots. Quite exhilarating! We also had a very civilised moment sipping tea and eating cornish shortbread – thanks to Caroline Long. After which one watch had a sewing hour where we whipped the ends of some lines to stop them fraying (this involves tightly binding them with twine). After we went to bed apparently the wind died and the other watches had difficulty keeping Elinca moving in a straight line and keeping the sails full (cue gybing and reefs in and out). By the time we awoke at 8am for morning watch the wind was back and the sails were exactly as we left them, not sure we should believe them…
We are currently heading into mid February in our Elinca ‘year in a voyage’ calendar. Heather’s birthday was at 4am (our watch slept straight through it) and my birthday (and Pancake Day) are at midday today. Valentine’s Day is at 3pm so we shall report tomorrow if any crew members received a card from a secret admirer.
On a personal note I am about half way through my voyage time on Elinca now, it has absolutely flown by and I know I shall be sad to leave her in Rio. It has been a lifetime ambition to sail across the Atlantic and it still doesn’t feel quite real that we are over 2000 miles in already sailing down the African coast. Luckily I have a month’s holiday in Brazil and Argentina planned with my boyfriend Alan when I arrive to look forward to, so not quite straight back to work when I disembark. A little shout out to my work colleagues at SABIC in Teesside (where I work as a Chemical Engineer) who I know have been following the blog,
Time now to check out the feasibility of pancakes for lunch…until next time.