Day 15 – 0900 UTC location: 18°18.00’N by 046°47.00’W and 1907 nm from Las Palmas. Yesterday’s average speed was 6.0 knots.
By midnight, the wind speed had slowed down to about 15 low 20’s apparent and spun around to the port aft, which is the direction the wind was supposed to be coming from. By 1000, the wind was down to 5 10 knots from port beam and the seas had seriously calmed down. The swells were about 4 8 feet and waves about 2 6 feet. But more importantly, they were less confused, coming at less rapid intervals, and “longer and lazier” than they had been (quote from Colin). We were still rocking a lot, but mostly at only a 5 degree swing each way, with the occasional 10 15 degree thrown in. Trust us, every degree of roll makes a huge difference in comfort level, and we were all thanking God for taking our ride from miserable to tolerable. We could live with this for the rest of the crossing.
The wind continued to stay light, and in the afternoon it died down to virtually nothing. At some points the wind gauge was doing circles because there really was no wind at all. The seas followed suit. Within a few hours, there were no wind waves at all. The swells progressively became smaller and more gentle. By evening, it was a pleasant ride. It is amazing how vastly different conditions can be in only 24 hours! What is weird is that yesterday’s forecast said conditions would be better than they were, and today’s forecast said it would be worse than it was. Anyway, during the day it was scattered clouds. At night, the moon was full and vibrant, offering amazingly good visibility.
We rolled up 2000 miles on the trip odometer. We get very excited at each milestone. Interestingly, now that the wind has died and the seas have calmed, it is not as hot downstairs and bad smell is completely gone.
Day 16 — 0900 UTC location: 17°57.00’N by 049°10.00’W and 2045 nm from Las Palmas. Yesterday’s average speed was 5.8 knots at 1600 RPM.
The wind basically stayed dead all night and the seas continued to flatten out. By 0730, it was 4 – 6 foot swells from the starboard aft quarter at 9 second intervals. Waves are fat and lazy, not sharp and frantic, so the motion of the boat is gentle. Wind waves were literally just a few inches. The wind stayed light and the seas continued to slowly flatten out all day. The ride is fabulous and we are all in a better mood. This morning we had a light rain shower, but no wind came with it. There was a beautiful rainbow that accompanied the shower. Other than the shower, was sunny and bright. The night was again lit up by the beautiful luminescent moon.
This morning, Eric saw a pod of dolphins on his watch. There were about 15 or so and they only stayed a few minutes. They were a spotted breed that he had never seen before. He also saw a rainbow at the same time.
Eric talked to the sailors on the radio net. They are 150 200 miles southeast of us. They didn’t get hit by our storm, but they did get the swells caused by our storm. They have more wind farther south, which they are happy about. But we are glad we chose to stay north precisely because we don’t like wind. It is flat days like this we live for. This morning we also passed the ¾ mark. We get more and more excited with each milestone.
In the afternoon we saw an especially fat rainbow. We tried turning off the active fin stabilizers and running with only the paravanes. The ride was fine, but it wasn’t almost flat like it was with the active fins on. So, we turned the active fins back on. We really like almost flat. Here is Colin doing watch in the official lounge mode.
Later in the night, Eric reported seeing a moonbow. Christi went out to look at it and didn’t see anything. She thinks Eric was delusional, but he swears it was there. Tonight we rolled up 4318 hours on the main engine. What is significant about that number? Well we are on a Nordhavn 43. It is a production boat, and we are hull 18, thus we are known as “4318”. As far as we know we are the first Nordhavn 43 to reach her hull number in hours.
And on to some blog questions:
Q: Compared to the life you lived before April 2007, which I am sure you were very satisfied with, I am curious if your outlook and ambitions in life in general have changed in any significant way during your voyage?
A: In our old life we lived in a fairly small world, and now that we have been exposed to so many different things, we certainly have a broader and more well rounded outlook on just about everything. More of our opinions are based on what we have seen first hand than theories or what we have heard from other sources. As for our ambitions, it really depends on how you want to define ambitions. Our long term life goals are the same, but before we left we thought we would carry out those goals in a way that conforms with American culture. Thanks to seeing so many different ways of life, now we realize we have a lot of choices in how to execute those goals. When we get home, we may choose to execute them in a different way than we would have a couple years ago.
Q: What is the realistic cost you are encountering and has it been what you thought it would cost? Did you have any unexpected expenses?
A: For expenses, see FAQ #26
Fuel went up higher than we had originally budgeted for, but right before we left we realized it would be an issue and re-budgeted. We had a few unanticipated repairs to make, but we had set aside money for repairs because we were well aware of the fact that things on boats break. The dollar went down in value, so that made Europe more expensive than we anticipated solely because of the exchange rate. The government costs in the Maldives were unexpected, but we got unlucky. We had a pad in our budget for curve balls like those.
Q: Did you have a sponsor to help supplement the costs of your trip?
A: See FAQ#33
Q: Do you think the LED lights and the water pump failed because of low electrical voltage?
A: Eric monitors the voltage closely (in fact, he is a little on the obsessive-compulsive side about both amps and voltage) and we haven’t had any low voltage levels.