Thursday, 27 February 2014

Temptress does the Atlantic - Day 13

Talk yesterday was of landfall, by midnight only 350 nm to go - no we are not obsessed but....

Already beginning a mental list of chores for when we arrive - clean out the fridge and cool-box which are surprisingly smell free, wash the galley floor, clean the heads etc. As a crew we've done few domestic chores except the necessary to keep the place vaguely sanitary. There is a huge mound of dirty laundry - four people for three weeks worth!

Melamine cups don't bounce - another  mug bit the dust yesterday launched into the air by a odd set of waves shaking and rattling the boat. Will have to go on a hunt for replacements when we reach dry land as just have four left. And, on a walk to the foredeck ( the only exercise apart from up and down the companionway stairs or grinding winches), we noticed the dinghy cover has developed a couple of splits, gaffer taped them for now but another task for the next few months - is it cheaper to buy or make a replacement? 

Over breakfast the crew recounted tales of their night watches; Paul was assaulted by a large flying fish at the start of his first one then soaked by a torrential downpour that lasted most of his second. Joe saw a ship the first in days, running parallel to our course but it was lost after a while in another squally shower.

The morning was productive - Joe washed a couple of t-shirts so he has clean ones for going ashore, Paul and I scrubbed the fenders to remove the last of the mucky aluminium marks from our stay in Puerto Calero. Then I used some blue netting twine to make a macrame bracelet with a smart "gold" catch made from a recycled dog lead type mini clip discovered in the sewing box. And we were plunged into mourning for Squid Vicious who now presumably occupies the mouth of something large with extremely sharp teeth, consumed in one quick bite.

Clocks were adjusted yesterday, a little late but more convenient for the crew as Temptress sailed across the time zone boundary after supper the day before but it seems to work better to have the extra hour between lunch and supper. Therefore today's noon to noon run was for 25 hours and it was a respectable 170nm.  Seems the forecast moderation of the winds for Tuesday Wednesday is already coming in behind us as the seas are flatter and therefore calmer, no less rocky rolly just not such big movements. Suriname is to the south of us and Georgetown, Guyana less than 500nm south-west. The coast of S America is within reach, is this where Temptress will go come the hurricane season?

Planning our arrival - examining the charts and chartlets, re-reading the pilot books. St David's Harbour is long and narrow, approached through reefs off the headlands on either side. The east most one having a distinctive wind eroded stumpy stack of rock. Buoyage is opposite to Europe - ILAB is red right returning - so leaving the green buoys to starboard or the reds to port on the way in would put us on a reef. The channel may not be lit from the info we have to needs a daylight approach.

The naviguesser keeps muddling up names of islands beginning with B - Barbados some 50 miles to the north of us is not Bermuda, Barbuda or the Bahamas. This has lead to a little game - how many islands in the North Atlantic can you name beginning with the letter B? we managed a dozen or so over a few hours including Brehat, Batz, Burhou and Belle Isle - all amazing yachtie destinations. How many can you name? List your favourites in the comments below...

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