Ascension Island to Fernando de Noronha Island, Brazil…..Day 5
June 26th, written the morning of June 27th, 2013 (Western Hemisphere) Time: -1 on GMT
We ran with the spinnaker on starboard tack all day yesterday. This was a pretty neat feat as we really didn\’t seem to have enough wind to
do so. We were making speeds in the 7-9 knot range with only 12 knots of wind on a tight beam reach. Miss Piggy rocks!
We do seem to have a nice current of up to occasionally 1.5 knots helping. It sure beats the alternative.
So far, we\’ve been escaping the squalls; that is until this morning. Between 4-6 a.m. we had three and there was just no avoiding them. The problem is that they are
\”Wind Thieves and Rain Makers\”. Sometimes squalls really give a boost to the wind, indeed, more than we want. This area at this time seems to do just the opposite.
Of course when they come, the direction changes and it can be a bit of a Chinese Fire Drill while adjusting course and sails.
Two things happened yesterday that we\’re really cool. First, on the sailing side, we had a great spinnaker run AND we figured out (mostly) how to get our auto pilot to act like a wind vane. This means that instead of sailing a straight line, the boat actually will go left and right to keep the sails adjusted to the wind. Despite the \”straight line\” sounding better idea, this can cause the crew to have to make frequent sail adjustments. With the \”wind mode\”, it just adjusts the boat to keep the sails trimmed. We had to alter some settings like \”wind shift\” was too tight and the damping on the wind sensitivity was too quick. Once we got that tweaked, it sailed in light air for hours without our touching much.
The next thing was a wonder of nature. Last night when I came on watch at midnight, I noticed phosphorescence in the wake of our twin hulls. On closer inspection, I realized these were MILLIONS (no exaggeration) of jelly fish. Between 6 inches and 24 inches in diameter. The bioluminescence of plankton \”inside\” their clear bodies looked like the ocean was full of stars. This went on for 3 hours and I don\’t know how long it was going on before I noticed it! Imagine, we moved over 24 miles in that period of time and it was non stop. We can only guess how wide to our left and right this phenomenon reached. We could only see about 50 feet to each side and it was truly an unforgettable sight. It reminded me of many of the reasons I began this voyage with Cindy. She would have loved it. Nikki was enthralled and watched for long periods of time. It was so thick, I was concerned the water maker or the generator might have sucked some up as we\’ve had tiny krill clog our strainers before. The good news was, upon inspection, all was clear.
We\’ve been motoring for about two hours, but the squalls are clearing and our slight wind seems to be returning. Hopefully we\’ll be sailing within the hour.
REMEMBER, NIKKI\’S SHORE SIDE EMAIL IS NOT FORWARDING TO THE BOAT BECAUSE OF A TECHNICAL GLITCH. SO IF YOU WANT TO EMAIL HER, DO SO DIRECTLY TO THE BOAT.
AND YES SANDRA, SHE DID GET YOUR MAIL AND WILL WRITE SOON…:-)
Scott and Phosphoresent Nik