03 January 2009

03-Jan-2009 Noon Update

Atlantic Crossing Day #10
North Atlantic Ocean

  • 129 nm last 24 hours
  • 1121 nm from Cape Verde
  • 900 nm to Barbados
  • Winds NE 15-20 Knots
  • Seas NE 3-4ft, 8ft NE Swell
Another great 24-hour run and the trade winds keep blowing!! During the day the winds stay steady  about 10-15 knots. But around midnight the last few nights the winds increase to 20 knots and we have small rain squalls pass over us. They are not like the 'Night Squalls' that we experienced in the South Pacific. Here there is just a slight increase in wind speed and the rain is very light.

It does get a bit rolley at night as the swells pick up. And we have to roll in most of the jib to keep the Piper under control since the winds are dead off the stern, causing us to surf down some of the larger swells. We still have the main out to port with a preventer and the jib poled out to starboard. 

'Haywire' is doing a great job of steering, keeping us from jibing. It has only needed minor course adjustments.

Not only do we have the NE trade winds pushing us along, but we are in the North Equatorial Current which gives us a 0.5 to 1.5 knots push. This is the same current that enters the Caribbean, wraps around the west end of Cuba becoming the Gulf Stream. It then heads north to Florida's east coast, up the Atlantic seaboard, and across the Atlantic ocean, finally slamming into the northern British Isles.

Passed one ship after sunrise heading in the other direction off on the horizon. Very clear night last night before midnight with lots of stars dotting the sky. Then clouds and rain squalls.

More in 24,
Tom and Amy

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