Hats off to the folks who create the ECMWF weather forecast – their wind prediction is spot on. We now have a steady F4 wind from the east and our boat speed has increased to a respectable average of 5.5 knots.
The upside of this state of affairs, apart from the fact that we are getting to Barbados more quickly, is that it’s a good day for washing and drying. Clearly, this is not the image of gin and tonic sailing-into-the-sunset some people may have in mind, but this has to be done to avoid a rancid environment and fetid crew.
The downside is the rolling motion of the boat. The sea has perked up in sync with the wind, so every now and then Lady Jane will roll from side to side. This isn’t too bad, and it is expected, but it plays havoc while cooking. And here’s a tip for anyone daft enough to try it: making coleslaw on a rolling boat isn’t such a good idea – it gets everywhere.
The combination of sunshine and boat speed delivers much needed power to the batteries through the solar panels and hydro-generator. This means we can continue to run the fridge, freezer, plotter and autopilot for 24 hours a day without concern. And perhaps more importantly, we can keep the water tanks filled from the watermaker. So we have plenty of drinking water and enough for the occasional shower to prevent the crew going off.
We are now 1554 nautical miles to Barbados and all is well – and fragrant.