ARC Rally, Day 7

Beautiful sailing conditions continued through yesterday afternoon and last night. Since the winds were rather light, 4-8 knots from the SSW to SW, we tight reached with main, jib and staysail just south of west so we could put a bit more southing in. As the winds picked up a bit during the evening we furled the staysail and headed up, maintaining our west-southwesterly heading.
With the sea state relatively benign, snacktician Merima managed to put together the boys’ favorite, a Chicago style spinach and mushroom stuffed pizza. It was a rather filling meal that required two bottles of Spanish white to wash it down. Leftovers? No way!
The wind gradually picked up throughout the morning and at mid day wee took the first reef in the main as winds reached the 13-14 knot range. I can’t even remember the last time we had to reef. We have been able to maintain a course 5-10 degrees above our great circle route bearing of 280˚ to the north end of the island of St. Lucia, just over 1800 miles west.
We feel fortunate that we put in more southing at the beginning of the passage. On the radio sked today, the boats further north are reporting winds from the WSW to SW to 25 knots and are shipping a lot of water. We’ve still got some hatches open as it is warm with daytime temps in the high 80’s (F)/low 30’s (C). It cools in the evening but is still warm enough for just shorts and a t-shirt.
As one can expect, the boys get a bit punchy from time to time and some light-hearted joking and ribbing has been going on. Kurt has accused Graham (a.k.a. the dirty little man) of sexual harassment (they share the aft port cabin) but has yet to request alternative accommodation.
Kurt has the best two quotes of the passage so far: “Isn’t it amazing how all the food comes aboard the boat through that big companionway and leaves through a 1-1/2” pipe” and “It has taken me years to become this immature.”
Our position at noon today (Cape Verde Islands time zone) was 17˚ 19’ north latitude by 29˚ 28’ west longitude and our noon to noon run was 137 miles.
Cheers from the MooCrew, George, Merima, Charles, Graham and Kurt

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