Thursday, 27 February 2014

Temtptress does the Atlantic - Day 14

Noon to noon - 159 nm

A fairly uneventful night; Kevin had to negotiate a fishing fleet - red over white frying tonight between 3 and 5 am. Joe on his watch decided to investigate the annoying knocking sound of oil cans or similar in the gas locker and opened it to a strong smell of gas. Later in the day using bubbles from the washing up water he traced and fixed the leak - the connection to the fixed copper pipe required it's jubilee clips tightening.

Lots of birds around including petrels or storm petrels big and small - impossible to identify by actual type as they are all fairly dark plumage, and many have a white band at the base of their tail feathers, even our big book of seabirds says you need to have them in your hand to tell them apart. Also spotted our first booby but quite which one was again difficult to tell.

The laptop was turned on today so we have a bit more detail than the North Atlantic, Southern Part chart which covers everything from Brazil to above Washington on this side of the Atlantic. We didn't see Barbados, not even a glow in the sky over night, Tobago is some 100 nm south west of us. We really feel we are almost there now.

The ensign came out and after a few repairs to its hem was hung once more from it's halyard. We looked out the Grenadian courtesy flag and the Q flag to request customs clearance. Talk turned to tomorrows approach - call the skipper at thirty miles out if he is not already on watch. Slow the boat down if need be. 

Supper was our first tinned food meal although actually only the veg came out of a tin as we could not face cabbage in a risotto; Kevin cooked his favourite chorizo version using up some chicken stock. We sat around afterwards over our "night caps" chatting almost as if we were unwilling to let go of our last evening at sea.  Eventually I was left alone for the remainder of my watch. Sleep was hard when it came to turn in, the islands' influence was making itself felt on the seas with the current pushing us now north west above Grenada and the waves heading still in a south westerly direction but choppier than they were. Bunks were bouncy and little sleep was had. Temptress was gybed and gybed again through the night as we clawed our way to our goal whilst keeping the wind safely over one quarter or the other. Was it a long night because sleep was difficult or because it was so dark with the moon not rising until the early hours of Wednesday and then only briefly or was sleep hard to come because we were so close to our goal...whatever it seemed our longest night at sea.

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