Saturday, December 10, 2016

Askari Report 1200 UTC 9th December 2016

Position 20 46 N 23 44 W
Course 245 degrees
Speed 6.2 knots
Wind North East 14 knots
Distance in last 24 hours 139 miles

It is an absolute privilege to be out here today - it is a day the likes of which I never want to forget.

I am writing this blog update sat outside at the cockpit table, having just had an amazing lunch of caprese salad with serano ham served on our Oyster china plates at the table while Askari gently glides us across the ocean. We have about a metre of swell but it's so gentle the sea just looks like it is breathing. I just want to take in every minute of this day; it's just perfect. I just made a video that I hope to add to this entry later.

Yesterday afternoon we continued to sail very slowly wing on wing making only about 5 knots most of the day but it was nice so we just relaxed, read and enjoyed it. However, the wind eased over night to about 8 knots so we put the engine on with just the main sail; for stability. By keeping the revs low we have found we can use minimal fuel (about 2.5 litres an hour at 1700 rpm), whilst making about 5/6 knots in these conditions.

Andrew set up the fishing gear yesterday afternoon as I declared that the fresh meat had been depleted enough to catch a fish - we are determined not to open the freezer just yet. So we have the gaff ready to go in one rod holder and our big tuna rod in the other. We also have a bright green baby bath tied on the aft deck to take any poor unfortunate fish we should land - to try and minimise fish on the teak deck!! Yuck…. but I have the wasabi and ginger ready and waiting!!

We had a very calm night after an amazing sunset. Then the wind picked up at first light to 15 knots, but slightly more northerly than yesterday. So we sailed again and then when I woke we moved our spinnaker pole to the starboard side, and also added soft shackles to reduce noise and wear as the sail moves around - this took us about an hour to get it just right. Also today we put our spare fuel in the tank while the conditions were calm - thanks Dad for the great syphon gadget that makes this job so much easier (we did change the hose and garden stake - ha ha - I love you x)

I said yesterday that we had reached the tropics and the improvement in the weather is incredible. We are now mostly in bathers during the day and shorts and t-shirts at night - just brilliant.

Interestingly right now we have superyachts all around us that we can see on the AIS - all heading to the Caribbean. Oh and excitingly Fenua just appeared again - 35 miles from us and we are in the lead - that's today's yay!!

About 2,100 miles to go to Barbados!

Time to start fishing

The sunsets are amazing out here

Topping up the fuel

Our network of guys to secure the spinnaker pole

The propagation was so strong today we could see AIS for about 100 miles

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