Friday, 6 May 2016

New Coloured Sails

This morning conditions had settled enough for us to fly our latest set of small colored sails, hoping to add some boat speed to our meager 5.0 knots.

Despite our prayers they didn't do much, which is doubly sad because our really big colored sail is no more - it exploded last night at around 02:00 hours and gave us a very busy time retrieving the pieces.

Jeessh - one minute I was sailing along beautifully at around 7.0 knots and then BANG. On deck I saw that the bottom meter of the sail, just above the tack, was still connected to the bow, but the rest was flying like a big ugly flag, and shredding itself further in the rigging. Oh, and then it started to rain, so we had a miserable time retrieving the mess.

So now we're down to using just old fashioned white sails, which limits our speed and means a slightly delayed arrival in St. Helena. Apart from that incident all has continued to be fine and comfortable on board. The air temperature has climbed into the "acceptable" zone, I gave up on shoes and socks yesterday, and today I'm wearing shorts for the first time in weeks. Water temperature is up to 23 degrees C., so we have officially arrived in the tropics.

We have also officially arrived in the Western Hemisphere, crossing 0 degrees of longitude that mark the Greenwich Meridian - we're exactly due south of London. This is a first for Crystal Blues, and it does take some practice to stop writing East in the log book. For over ten years we've gradually watched our "easting" decreasing, now we're watching the "westing" grow each day.

At14:00 hours UTC we have just 147 nautical miles to travel to St. Helena.

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