Day 9: Halfway!

The nightshifts were a bit difficult because we had to correct Helmut the hydrovane constantly. The waves built and sometimes a wave would steer the boat so far off course that the foresail gybed and the hydrovane couldn’t correct it anymore.

It was an exceptionally hot day, we had sunshine all day and it probably was over 30 degrees. Also at night it is getting warmer, we don’t need jackets or tea to keep us warm.

During Caro’s morning shift we hit the halfway mark: 1075 NM to Grenada, 1075 NM to Mindelo! We celebrated with a cake (my mom sent us a recipe over the satellite phone..) and a little party in the cockpit. We tried to bake sourdough bread again and this time it came out like real, tasty bread.

We also wanted to catch some fish, but since a day or so we have been sailing through huge islands of seagrass, which makes it impossible to throw a line out.

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In the afternoon we washed the dishes, ourselves and made ourselves pretty for our Christmas celebration! We all called our parents over the sat phone, which was quite a surreal experience. To be able to call home from literally the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is just so weird. We all shed some tears and then it was time for our own Christmas celebration!

The boys decorated our Christmas tree while I cooked a festive dinner: dates filled with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon, grilled veggies and sausage. The Christmas decorations looked very nice (despite the tree being fake) and although we said not to exchange gifts, we all had some little presents for under the tree. We had glühwein as a sundowner and toasted on this exceptionally summerly Christmas.

After dinner we continued the festivities and shared a typical Cape Verdan beer: Stela, so good! It’s like Duvel. The boys went to bed at 20:30 (yep) and I took the first shift. The alcohol might have been a bad idea, although I only had a glühwein and a glass of beer I was extremely tired. I sang along with my iPod to keep me awake. It helped.

Miles of the day: 164 NM

Coordinates: 14º00.17 N, 43º27.44 W

Highlight of the day: Can’t choose between halfway mark and Christmas!

Dramas of the day: Caro started feeling seasick again after dinner, although she has been feeling a bit better every day now. Also the mast makes weird noises, which is worrying us. And there was water in the bilge under the engine, quite a lot of it (where does it come from!?). And, another small drama, a can of coke fell on the floor in the saloon and exploded all over everything stored under the couch: milk cartons, water jugs, the floor and the couch.

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