13/03/2016 – Did the Weather Gods read my blog?

Dawn was rapidly brightening the sky as I wrote yesterday’s log, shortly after sunrise a bright yellow orb peaked through a slight hole in the cloud cover. From that point on the day improved, at least it stayed sunny all day. The wind, however, stayed rather fickle but without its tricks of wandering all around the compass. We turned the engine off at 0900 for the radio net and drifted for about 2 miles in the following 35 minutes. We motored for about an hour, then managed to sail until late afternoon. The evening was a mixture of motoring, drifting during the radio net, motoring again, then, finally, sailing with a good steady wind to the waypoint. We reached the waypoint shortly after I came on watch at 2300, John stayed on deck as we had to put in a 45o turn to port and he was worried that we would need to gybe the mainsail. We rolled away the genoa, made the turn then found that we were dead downwind so continued all night on mainsail alone. It may sound perverse, but we are no longer trying to maximise our speed. We believe we have too many motoring hours to finish with a competitive adjusted time; however our ETA, predicted before we left Fortaleza, looks quite achievable. If we get to the finish too early we won’t drop an anchor but let’s just say we will be trying very hard to control our speed to reach it as close to our prediction as possible. The three boats just ahead of us yesterday, Aretha, Exody and Makena, all caught fish, 2 Mahi-Mahi and 1 swordfish but we had no luck. We had Mahi-Mahi for dinner though, courtesy of one we caught on the way to St Helena and had in the freezer. One highlight of yesterday afternoon was spotting Tobago in the distance. A straight line between Fortaleza and Grenada would have taken us much closer to Tobago, however we were given the waypoint as a mark on the course, to keep us a safe distance away from the area where there were two pirate attacks in December. It is currently 0750 and John has just called down from the cockpit that he can see Grenada. Roll on this afternoon, I’ll keep our ETA secret for now. Hopefully I will write a short log before bed tonight, I know I’m not very good at writing the last log of a passage until some time after we have arrived but I will try. Joyce

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