We have had a very exciting 48 hours—yesterday we put 149 nautical miles behind us! The winds have not only held but continue to grow stronger. We currently have a steady 35 knots behind us and gusts up to 45. As the winds have grown we’ve reduced our canvas from the jib and the code zero, to the jib and the main, then the staysail and double reefed main, and now we are flying just our staysail. We’ve been trying to balance maximizing our mileage with not putting too much stress on our sails and rigging, and staying comfortable ourselves. Comfort is tricky, because as the wind grows so do the seas. So, every four or five minutes the boat pitches back and forth with a great deal of drama. Our possessions are secure at this point, but we can hear pots and and pans going sliding, cups clanking, and one’s feet are apt to go slipping out from underneath them.
The conditions appear to be getting tropical and a little stormy. There was a small chance of rain, and it started to sprinkle last night around 12:30 am. There are small patches of blue sky above, but the clouds ahead are an ominous shade of steel, as is the water. We’re watching the forecast closely to make sure our trajectory is through the mildest weather possible, so no need to worry. In the meantime, the plan is to hang out down below, hold on tight, and let Helios and the autopilot do their thing.
While we’ve both had moments of wondering why didn’t just hop on an airplane and fly to the South Pacific (so easy!), overall, moral remains high. We’re both the happiest when we’re making mileage, and we’d rather put wear and tear on the boat in strong winds as opposed to absent winds. We have plenty of oatmeal and ravioli that is easy and delicious to make, and plenty of books and podcasts and movies to keep ourselves occupied. But mostly, I pass the time obsessing over sail trim and sea conditions, while Dominic reads 19th century novels and crafts poems in his journal. ; )