General Comments: Still no seasickness, so hopefully we are good for the crossing (who am I kidding?). We found stowaways aboard yesterday - weevils (?) in the pasta. I'd purchased a couple of different large 8lb bags of pasta in the BVI (when I had a car) and re-bagged them into separate smaller portion "baggies" once I got them home. One of those giant bags of pasta must have come from the store with extra protein, as now the insects had all hatched out and were having a jolly time (until we threw them overboard, that is). Luckily, we have plenty of other pastas to last the journey and all have been thoroughly inspected and reported clear of infestation.
We've had a chain plate leak for some time. I re-bed it before we left, but the leak is now worse than ever and we've determined that it is NOT coming from the chain plate, but from the hatch beside it, and trickling down via the ceiling and then the chain plate. Kyle won't let me remove the hatch while we are at sea so I guess we're stuck with it for the next few weeks - we are working hard to make sure that the wood of the bulkhead doesn't get (or stay) wet. Grrr.
It is clear that my book supplies will NOT last the journey, I've already completed 4 books, and am half way through a 200 Suduko puzzle book. It turns out that I'm sloppy at Suduko and keep finding a box or line with 2 of the same number in.... plenty of time to practice. To entertain myself and try and stretch my books to last a bit longer, I've tried singing sea shanties and folk songs learned in my youth - but it turns out I can hardly remember anything except a line or two of the odd chorus, so even I'm getting fed up of asking "what shall we do with a drunken sailor?"
One of the books I finally got to reading was "Do Dolphins Ever Sleep?" a book of ocean facts that our friend JD lent us. Here, I learned that in the open ocean it is almost impossible to be struck by lightning (whew), but that (although figures are NOT published) there are estimated between 2000 and 10000 containers lost from container ships each year... many take 6 months to sink, and some never sink due to the insulation included in them. I think I preferred the dolphin facts! (Apparently they sleep with half their brain at a time).
We send mail AND download the weather at the same time, so when I write this we have yet to see our latest weather report. The last two days though have mentioned TROPICAL STORM 1 (downgraded to depression) to the North of us. Although we are "in the box" we are expecting it to pass well (150 miles) to the North of us, and even it we get it, winds are reported to be gusts up to 30 kt - so not terrible. At the same time we want to push north to avoid the calmer winds forecast in our current latitudes, and help keep us moving. We like to get at least 5kt (120 miles a day) and with light winds, this won't be possible, so we want to pick up some better winds for the most of the passage.
[Kyle] We've just past north of the latitude of Ocean Marine in Norfolk VA - where we spent nearly 5 years planning and saving for this trip - ah the memories! Our nearest land at the moment is Sable Island off the coast of Newfoundland (more of a shoal). Halifax (Canada) is probably our nearest "real" land - 540nm. The strange thing is that although we are so far away from anything much, since we brought our home with us, and are used to passages with no land in sight, we just don't feel like we are out in the middle of nowhere. Everything is the same, same sheets, dishes, sails, same walk to the bathroom as we've been used to for a long time. Only the instruments and the lack of any traffic or radio chatter betrays that we are so remote. I suppose if we had crewed on someone else's boat, while normally living in an apartment, the entire environment would seem unusual and there would be more of a sense of something special going on. I suspect for us it is really going to be more like flying through the clouds; the full realization of where we are will hit us once we are walking around in Ireland and soaking up some of that Irishness. For now, it seems strangely like we could be sailing anywhere just out of sight of land, and lets hope it stays that way, we are not looking for too much adventure here.
Food: Pasta (the non-infested kind) for dinner last night, just fruit for lunch yesterday, after a simple breakfast of toast... Getting dull. I started some sprouts going yesterday so they should be ready tomorrow.
Progress: Yesterday we made 110 nm (sigh), So far on this trip we have traveled (through the water) 585 nm, and have 2148 nm (straight line) to go.