ARC Rally, Day 13

We’re heading west on the trade wind express!  After a frustrating afternoon of light and shifty breezes clocking from south to north, a steady breeze from the north-northeast filled in just before happy hour.  We set a shy kite, our 2.2 oz symmetrical spinnaker, and have been close reaching on the great circle route to St. Lucia ever since.  The breeze has slowly but steadily improved from 7 knots last evening to the mid-to-high teens today.  Speeds over the ground are now in the 8’s and 9’s with the occasional burst in the low 10’s and we’re clicking off the miles at the fastest pace of this passage.  If the latest forecast is correct, we should have a fast, non-stop ride the rest of the way to St. Lucia.
With a refreshing gin and tonic at happy hour last night we toasted the arrival in earnest of the trade winds and the last third of our long and unusually slow trans-Atlantic passage.
After, Merima served dinner of barbeque tenderloins of chicken, grilled green peppers with garlic and a couscous salad with feta, marinated peppers and tomatoes.  The wine match was a dry Spanish white Rioja.
Sailing conditions were beautiful throughout the evening with a clear starry sky and NO SQUALLS!  Early this morning we were all reminded of home as the Southern Cross constellation rose just above the horizon.  The last sliver of the moon rose just before a fiery orange sunrise.
After two nights of relatively benign sailing, everyone is feeling pretty rested.
This morning we hooked a nice mahi-mahi as we were honking along with the kite.  It ran out all the line on the reel, but when the speed of the boat pulled the fish up on the plane, we were able to reel it in, skipping along the surface, without slowing the boat down.  The fish weighed in at 6 kg/13 pounds.
The weather is getting warmer as we are pretty much running along the 14th parallel.  Temps this morning were in the low 30’s C/high 80’s F.
The noon to noon run was 164 nautical miles and our position at 1200 hours Central Atlantic time was 13° 48′ north by 43°  19′ west.
Cheers, the MooCrew

 

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