13 December 2008

13-Dec-2008 Noon Position

Atlantic Crossing Day #6

North Atlantic Ocean
  • 125 nm last 24 hours
  • 582 nm from Grand Canary
  • 303 nm to Cape Verde Islands
  • Winds NE 25-30 knots
  • Seas NE 10-15 feet
Insane Weather...

Sandpiper 'and crew' went for a wild ride last night when the winds went up to 30 knots, then up to 40, and held!! Not much fun as all we can really do except to hold on. It took two of us to make sandwiches, trying to hold on to all the fixings so everything didn't fly around in the cabin. We did have a pot of broccoli dump upside down on the floor. And I had a cup of hot chocolate mix in a cup flip upside down all over the galley counter before I could get the water into the cup.

As you can see we are no longer headed to Barbados. We are now are heading due south for the Cape Verde Islands. There are several reasons for this. One is the weather for the last 24 hours. Today the winds have come down to 25 knots. But there are still some very large swells leftover from last night, with a few breaking against us.

Another reason is that there are diesel mechanics at the harbor at Cape Verde and I would like to see if I can get the generator fixed there. if I have to hire a mechanic, it might be cheaper there rather then in the Caribbean. And I would rather have a backup power system incase the engine fails on our crossing.

Another reason to stop happened today. The electric autopilot took a dump while trying to steer us through all this nutty weather. I think we either blew a fuse, or something is making the drive motor not engage. Not to worry though as we have our Says Rig wind vane courtesy of S/V Christa mounted on Piper's stern doing all the steering for us. It only works when we are sailing. And I have to lean off the back of the boat to change course. But it is steering like a champ through all these large swells.

We are looking forward to stopping for a few days just to pick up everything that has flown around the boat and try to fix the mentioned projects before we take off again. We still have 303 miles to go and anticipate being there the day after tomorrow.

One ship sighted yesterday afternoon smashing thru the huge swells northbound, some going right over his bow.

Hoping for calmer seas,
Tom and Amy

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