lørdag 20. november 2010

The Guinea Current

At the moment we are sunbathing in the Guinea current which brings water
from the southern Atlantic up to the Carribean. The temperature is 29.2C
in the water, 28.4C in the air. There are only very light winds, but
whether we have reached the Doldrums or not we don't know. There is
after all some wind, 7 knots or so. We have been motorsailing for some
time now, to charge the batteries and to get some progress. Not that the
Guinea current doesn't provide some knots in the speed over ground, too.
We crossed the Equator again, northbound this time, but did not receive
any visit from Miss Neptun or others from her family. That is only for
the first timers. However, we know Ypake were going to cross for the
first time on this leg, so we are anxious to have their report. Did
anyone pay them a visit?
To get some protection from the burning sun we have attached a plastic
net over the cockpit, made from recycled polypropylen. An idea from the
same Ypake! Since it is just a net the wind will blow through it, if
there is some wind, and even if it is not a complete cover it provides a
lot of shadow. A cheap and good alternativ as long as we don't have a
proper bimini. So here we are, lying around in the cockpit, reading
books, relaxing and watching out for any ship that should come in our
way. So far there has not been many, but the other night there was one
heading directly towards us. Again the AIS did prove it's value. The
name of the ship pop'ed up on the screen, and in a few seconds I was in
contact with the other ship. "we are 5 nm ahead of you, approaching. If
we don't do something I think we will be passing very close. Can you see
us on your radar? " I don't think he had spotted us befoe he was
contacted, but after some seconds he answered: "OK, I turn to
starboard". In less than a minute he had turned and we could only see
the red lights. Another 10 minutes or so went by before we passed, and
it could very well be that he would have spotted us anyhow. But it feels
good to know that the other ship has seen you while there is still time
to alter the course!
We did not bring very much fresh food for this passage, as we know it
won't keep for more than 4-5 days in this heat. So now we are out of
potatoes, oranges, papaya, melon.. We still have a tomato, some onions
and a couple of lemons. So from now on the meals will be made from rice,
pasta, canned food and freeze dried variants. And there is always Corn
Flakes so we are fine!
Now I'm heading back to the cockpit to pick up another crime novel,
listen to the audio file of Bill Clinton's My Life or some other
"litterature light". That's all I can manage in this heat.
There is 404 nm to go before we reach Kourou and we have sailed 630 from
Fortaleza. Motorsailing in the Guinea current has given us a speed of 7
knots lately, but we'll soon go back to plain sailing. Hopefully the
light wind won't die off so that we'll still keep a speed of ~5 knots.


PS: Update on the 20th ov November. This blog appears not to have been
sent yesterday when I wrote it. At the present things are like
yesterday. Position: 3deg 06,8 N - 48deg 27,7W

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