JUST UNDER ASCENSION

4:45AM St Helena time

Current position: South 9 degrees 20 minutes, West 14 degrees 33 minutes


Rested! Started the new schedule last night. Ate supper at 4, and I went to bed about 5:30 – didn’t get to sleep right away, but once I did…ahhhh. This night watch, which started at 1AM, it’s been easy to stay awake. Philip will also be more rested now – he gets to sleep from 1AM until 9 or 9:30. I think our new schedule is going to be better for both of us. We seem to need that long stretch of uninterrupted sleep, in order to feel fully rested.

We are just south of Ascension Island. I haven’t been able to see it yet, but even if I don’t end up seeing it, that’s ok with me. The point is not to hit it. 🙂

We’ve been going in a very northerly direction because of the wind angle, but just after we changed watches at 1AM, I gybed the boat, to make sure that I didn’t hit Ascension, a small island north of St Helena. The St Helena immigration officer said that for a holiday, she and others will take a boat to Ascension (no airport in St Helena), then will fly out of Ascension to the Falklands.

Turns out I’ve been spelling “gybe” wrong – it’s gybe, not jibe. I realized that when I got an email from Chris White, the designer of the this boat, giving us advice about which sail configuration can work in these situations. One thing he suggested – if the wind was strong enough – is to run “wing and wing” – which means the smaller foresail, the jib, would be set on one side, and the larger foresail, the Code Zero, would be set on the other side. The mainsail would either be completely doused – put away – or “deeply reefed,” as Chris says, so as not to interfere with the wind coming from astern. We’d be running directly downwind using this configuration, rather than gybing back and forth.

Sounds interesting; we’ll have to see if conditions can support it. If the wind isn’t strong enough when you have the Code Zero up, it can collapse from the pressure on the front of the sail, especially when you speed up because you are surfing a swell.

We had a tiny bit of rain yesterday (Saturday), enough to get some of the salt off the decks and test the water-catching system. There’s a bimini that stretches over the back porch (the afterdeck). Philip had the sailmakers put a hole right in the center, and then under that hole he attaches a funnel, with a garden hose attached to it.

As the water comes down on the bimini, it ends up in a bucket via the funnel and garden hose. We got two buckets full; the first one wasn’t very clean because the bimini needed washing – it still had dirt on it from the V&A waterfront berth, with all the fires and shipbuilding grime. The second bucket was much better. I’ll use this water for washing the clothes.

On Monday, we will have been at sea for three weeks. It’s getting a little warmer (was 85 Saturday) and more humid as we go north, but it’s still nice in the pilothouse, where the breeze is assured as long as we are moving.

And, that’s what we’re still doing: Moving!

Happy Mother’s Day and a big hug to all the Moms reading this!

Love,
Philip and Kristin

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