The night starts out slow, we have to turn on the engine to keep making progress. That makes for a good night sleep, no waves and the calming humming of the engine. Only Thomas keeps being worried: is that sound normal? Is there enough oil in the gear box? A little heritage of our old engine, that kept Thomas awake for many many nights. Of course the engine sounds OK, of course there is enough oil in the gear box. Thomas and Ben aligned the engine to perfection before we left. No worries!
In the morning, during the sunrise shift Martijn throws out the lure and we cross our fingers to catch a fish, not a seagull today. There is a suspicious looking bird circling around the lure but luckily he gives up fast. We are accompanied by a big pod of spotted dolphins in the morning, who love the sound of the engine. They jump out of the water and make a big show of their own appearance.
When everyone is awake and had their first morning coffee, we decide to hoist one of our lightwindsails. Our preference goes out to ‘The Beast’, the big symmetrical spinnaker, but our course is too far upwind to make that work. So, we hoist Jenny the gennaker. There isn’t enough wind to keep it full and it flops around sadly. We change our plans, wait for the wind and go for a swim first. We dive into 5000+ m deep water.. Scary but amazing!
When we are all fully refreshed we feel a gentle breeze and try the gennaker again with a poled out headsail: success! There are no waves, and with our two big headsails we are doing 7 knots! We spend the day suntanning, reading books, writing emails and eating. Just before dinner, wind picks up and we change the sails for our normal setup: a full genoa and a reefed mainsail.
We put another reef in before everyone goes to bed, set the hydrovane to 120 degree apparent and neither of us has to touch this setup during our night shifts. What a blissful boring night, with great progress!
Pos: 39 35, N 60 01 W Miles through the water: 128 (147 towards Cork, thanks Gulf Stream) Miles to go: 2285 Highlight of the day: A perfect day of booze cruising Drama of the day: I let the pasta cook over twice and the gas outlet of the stove gets clogged up because of the pasta water. Ben loses his favourite t-shirt, it might have gone overboard.. Food of the day: Pasta with veggies that are going off
Every day, we send our biggest groupies (parents, spouses, much missed dogs) an update via the sat phone. Today, Thomas elaborated on his nightshift:
“It’s day 6 on our journey to Ireland and so far, an absolutely awesome one! Although we had to motor half of the night because of weak and inconsistent winds, we all got a good share of sleep and Ben even broke his personal record while sleeping for 9 hours straight. I had an amazing nightshift from 0:00 to 3:00 with a clear sky full of stars, a lot of bioluminescence algie and exploding lightbulps caused by passing jellyfish. It’s hard to describe, it’s just magical.
So I enjoyed the loneliness, listened to nice music, treated myself with some nice snacks and even managed to sort our cables that were messing up our charttable for days!“