Day 11: Smack Dab

posted in: Atlantic Crossing II | 0

So last night the Burnetts crossed the “hump” where they are now closer to Barbados than Cape Verde. They also now have less than 1000 miles to go. Hooray! This also means we are smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic, as far away from people as we can get. One could feel a little post-apocalyptic at this point. Mel did find herself counting rolls of toilet paper and packages of salami today. Tommy and Mel are both reading Alas, Babylon!, which doesn’t help. At least the sun is out.

We also aren’t on top of current events at home, which is both good and bad, I suppose. Mel does not miss hearing about political developments, but right now she really wishes she had a means to Google the origin of the term, “smack dab.”

Operation Shi#er’s Full was a success! After deeming the valve okay, Greg went back into the holding tank with his steel wire and spent an hour chopping up unseen obstructions with it. Apparently, when it comes to holding tanks, persistence is the key. Some poor dolphin in our wake probably got an unpleasant surprise the moment the blockage was cleared, and one would think Marvin should be zipping along now that he has relief. Unfortunately, the light winds aren’t making that possible at the moment.

Boat stuff: 170 nm in 25 hours. This sounds fantastic, but the truth is, we cheated. Winds got down to less than 6 kts apparent yesterday, so we dropped the spinnaker (after 9 days of continuous use) and motored for a while. When the winds picked up slightly and were more on the beam, we pulled out the main and jib and motorsailed. We are breaking in the engines, so that means we run them at 2600 rpm and then 3000 rpm on a complicated schedule for the next 50 hours of engine time. So Marvin blazed through last night at 7.5-8 kts. We hoisted the spinnaker again this morning, but with only 6-8 kts apparent at a wind angle of 114, we are making 5.5 kts at best. Even so, our chartplotter is predicting landfall on the 15th or 16th.

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