25 December 2008

25-Dec-2008 Noon Position

Atlantic Crossing Day #1 (First 24 hours)
North Atlantic Ocean

  • 125 nm last 24 hours
  • 125 nm from Cape Verde
  • 1896 nm to Barbados
  • Winds NE 15-20
  • Seas NE 3-4 feet
Merry Christmas to all!! As you are chewing your way thru a large juicy piece of turkey and mashed potatoes Sandpiper is back on the move due west for the next 2000 miles without anywhere else to go.

It was tempting to stay in Cape Verde thru the Christmas holidays. But the weather was looking good and it was time to go.

We had a bit of drama a couple days ago in the anchorage. We stayed aboard because the winds were so strong outside that we did not want to venture out in the dingy. It had two different painters secured to Sandpipers stern. I poked my head outside into the cockpit, between rain showers, to check out the anchorage. While we were getting nailed by 40 knot bullets of wind and I looked astern to see our dingy floating upside down. The wind had picked it up like a kite and then dumped it over, throwing my flip-flops and the dingy paddles in the water to float away. Also, it was soaking the outboard engine. We got the dinghy righted and the outboard motor off in order to clean it out. After a dousing of carburetor cleaner it seemed to run OK. But we will not know until we start using again on the other side of the Atlantic.

We left the anchorage at noon yesterday after opening our Christmas presents. We got the 'Piper secured for sea and took one last shower without the boat rolling all over the place. The winds were immediately blowing 20-25 knots which had us sailing at 7 knots, until we got behind the islands where the wind was blocked. Just a short 30-minute motor and we were back in the trade winds with just the main and staysail out, giving us an average of 6 knots all night.

Only one large tanker sighted, and an overtaking sailboat in the last 24-hours. We are very happy with the exhaust cutoff valves on the generator and engine. We now longer have to run the engines to keep the water out of them.

Tom: Merry Christmas To All!
Amy: And To All, A Good Night

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