PEACEFUL

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Current Time: 2:53 AM

Current Position: North 4 degrees, 32 minutes, West 34 degrees, 11 minutes

Hi, Everyone.

Thanks for your prayers and good wishes. We are very relieved.

“All’s well that ends well,” comes to mind. At least that’s how I’m feeling this evening. The boat is gliding rather peacefully along – not the raucous, hurley-gurley bouncing she does when she’s got more sail up. The jib (the small sail forward of the mainsail) is rolled up to about half its size, and we’ve taken a second reef in the mainsail, out of a possible three reefs. So we are lightly canvassed right now.

The wind is probably about 15 – 20 knots, and the seas are their usual swells and waves. The autopilot has been steering to a compass setting of 325 degrees (northwest) for hours, and is quite content. The steadiness of the tradewinds make it possible to stay on one course for long periods. If we were going to lose the detailed wind information on the display, this was the right time in our journey.

We reefed so that we could more easily handle squalls during the night, and also to make it easier to sleep. I feel like I’ve gotten my first good sleep in days, and am more ready for my 1AM watch than I have been this last week.

Ah, the wind is increasing; the boat just jumped to 8 knots. Turns out when you use the autopilot compass setting, without the rest of the electronics that depend on the mast fitting, you can still get info on the display – right now it shows the course the boat is set for and the boat’s speed. There’s a tiny impeller under the head on the port hull that goes around when the boat moves, and the autopilot unit uses that to get boatspeed information.

I’m finding I don’t need to see the display, however, to know how fast the boat is going. I can be in the galley and feel that surge and hear the water – and I know. It’s like a finely tuned instrument.

Feels like we’re coming into a squall – and looks like it, too – when I look out the front door, the stars stop way above the horizon in front of us, which means there are clouds there. There is no moon tonight, so it’s pretty dark outside, and “fuzzy.”

One minute peaceful, the next minute more intense. Welcome to sea voyaging. We could use the rain; I’ve used up the buckets of rain water we had captured on washing, and the boat is covered with salt crystals, from all the spray that came on deck today.

A shot I took during one of the more peaceful moments on the boat. No one out here but the Captain, the Admiral, the waves and the wind.

When it’s going to rain, I bring the plant trays inside. Otherwise they fill with too much water – and also salt water runoff can get on the plants if they’re under the pilothouse overhang on the afterdeck (back porch). The garlic water spray continues to thwart the aphids, and the plants are starting to contribute to our salads again. It’s early days for the spinach – we probably will be home before they’re ready to harvest – but at least they’re sprouting.

The first reefing line broke, we think close to the block attached to the aft edge of the sail. We discovered it at sunset, as we were putting in the second reef. We’ll set the first reefing line up again; because it broke close to one end, we’re assuming there’s enough line left to do that.

After we get home, I’m looking forward to going sailing with the boat designer – he lives about 45 minutes away in Massachusetts – and seeing what he thinks of the way the rig (sails/mast/boom, etc.) is set up on Horizon. Of course, we’re going 8000 miles in one go – in some tough conditions, and with endless movement. This is not like taking a boat out for an afternoon sail every few weeks. Every component on this boat is getting a full workout.

Right now we are discussing making a beeline for home, not planning on stopping anywhere. This decision may change – for several reasons that we can see at the moment. One would be to get fresh veggies and fruit, although we are getting by pretty nicely with our micro greens (and, yes, the sprouts are growing well – some of them, anyway – and as long as I smother them in salad dressing, Philip is actually eating them). The bread we got in St Helena didn’t fare so well. The vinegar bath worked – there’s no mildew – but they are as hard as a rock! Sigh.

Another reason to stop somewhere would be to get more line, although that, too, may not be necessary.

I also really wanted to stop in

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