10. February 2013 · Comments Off on Trans-Atlantic Day 14 · Categories: Posts

Trans-Atlantic  Day 14

Well, welcome again to Quinney Quinster time at sea.

We are in the middle of the Mid Atlantic Ridge now at 16’59.303N, 47’27.955W at 9am this morning.
The GPS says I will see palm trees in just over 791 nm.

We are now entering the North Equatorial Current, proper, and this should give us a push west with an extra 0.5-1.5 knots.
When you are sailing such a heavy, long keeled boat, every push helps.

Yesterday we had some steady strong winds, but they died off in the night.  It means we have seriously slowed down, but at least the waves have eased a bit.  Still rolling around, but no big ‘hits’ that toss you about the boat.  We all got a good night sleep and will use the calmer weather to shower and get some more fishing in.

We already lost one Mahi Mahi this morning.  He jumped off the lure just as we were lifting up aboard.  Were there is one, there will be more.  Lochmarin taught the humans to make empanada.  This is a Spanish Cornish pastry using flour, olive oil and white wine.  If we catch some fish today they will go in as filling.

The winds are meant to be variable today, so we do not know how much progress we will make.  We will just do our best to amuse ourselves with fishing and reading.  We did get all your words of encouragement through Uncle Steve and Aunt Helen.  It made us all feel like you were here with us.

We did finally get some questions as well to answer.

1) Hope you do not have any more gear failures.
Well, this is Spirit of Argo, and she is over 30 years old.  No matter what we do, something else breaks down.
You know about the spinnaker pole, the topping lift at the top of the mast.  The davits and the furling line that chafed and needed replacing.  Well since then the furler, for the twin head sails, has decided to start spitting out nuts and bolts.  We have to run up there with allen keys twice a day and tighten them all up.  Then the water hose came off the water heater and started spitting out all our fresh water.  We had to empty the rope locker to get to that side of the engine to repair it.  It was not fun trying to find a safe spot, in the really rolly conditions yesterday, for all the gear in locker and the generator that rests below it all.  But we got it repaired with minimum bruising to the humans.  But boy did they ‘curse’ a lot.  They cursed even more when they sprung another leak in the evening, when another hose came detached, but luckly on the hall side of the engine room.  They still had to put a cushion on the engine to throw them selves over it and get the hose re-attached.
These are all, a pain in the butt, but not threatening to the safety of the boat and our ability to sail her across.
Any one planning to make the crossing: Have tools and spares somewhere handy to get at.  Check all your standing and running rigging every day for wear and tear.

2)How does it feel, after all the planning?
Wow!  That is a very difficult question to answer.  I asked the human’s individually and this is what they had to say.
Human 1: It is not a difficult as I expected…knock on wood.
Much more rolly then I had expected.
We did not realise how much wear and tear it would have on the boat.
You do feel very isolated, especially as we have only seen one ship.
The marine life has been fantastic to watch and the Ocean is beautiful, but it can get monotonous.
We planned to leave when the trade winds were properly established and so far that has been the right decision. We have been fortunate with the weather.
We had not expected for so much gear failure. We thought we had sorted it all before we left and have extensive spares, but unforseen things will break. You are putting the boat under a lot of strain for an extended period of time.
Human 2: I will tell you when we get to the other side safe and sound.
As for me, Quinney Quinnster, I will do a synopsis at the end of the trip with the highs, lows and what we learned along the way.

It looks like, despite the fickle winds, it will be a beautiful day.
Take care everyone.

SOA Day 14

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