Thurs 7th April 2011
7.30am Sun rose a short while ago in a clear sky. It had cleared completely by midnight to show the Milky Way looking like a narrow misty veil thrown across the millions of stars overhead - lovely to see and the more enjoyable since accompanied by pressure rising sharply and wind backing and abating gradually, so things calmed down a lot. Meant I've had continually to adjust Fred and sail trim but was able to unfurl quite a lot of genoa early on to help our speed.
We're back on our NNE course. I checked the variation hereabouts, thinking it was still close to the 10E it had been on the passage to the Falklands, to find it's now 1W -must have changed rapidly over a short distance but that value makes for an easy calculation!
The wind is now just abaft the beam and we're making around 6.5 kt, often surfing gently above that, but occasionally still being hit by a wave - nothing much, just a bang and a slight lurch as it hits - and deck still often awash. So with the sunshine, very pleasant conditions, although still very cold - sea temp is 8C still so the boat quickly feels very cold when I switch off the heating and there are continual drops of condensation around the metal window frames.
2pm Skies mainly grey now, with a weak sun struggling through from time to time. Wind (and seas) up - around 25 kt, occasionally gusting to 30kt . Wind is from WSW, still backing slowly, and we're on a very broad reach. Atlantic petrels swooping around nearby, no albatross seen since y'day.
Cleared up in galley - needed to! Filled several small water bottles and placed them in strategic places - must keep up my fluid intake .... As usual, when on passage, I'm finding it far too easy not to drink enough. Had a bad headache yesterday for most of the day which I put down to dehydration and/or lack of sleep, although I wondered if it might have been partly due to stress (resulting from my recent bad experience...), since we were in rough conditions, or possibly from simply not eating enough over the day.... But all is fine today - I've had plenty of sleep and I'm trying to make sure I eat/drink plenty. I often remember John Golding telling me that he actually felt physically ill a good way through his last Vendee Globe - until he realized he wasn't eating big enough meals - and that solved his problem. Too little food intake must surely result in a lack of energy.... Sounds like a good excuse to delve into my 'goodies' corner regularly!!
Time to check on deck & do emails and maybe curl up with a book and an apple....
1400GMT: Distance run (DMG) over last 24hr: 103n.ml. - well down, as expected, after beating into strong NNW winds yesterday, but not too bad.
Cape Town 3320 ml away by Great Circle route.
6pm Pink clouds ... chilly air .... nearing sunset... 4m seas - well-spaced ... surfing a little, often..... making 035-040T at around 6 kt in WSW F6 (~24kt). Half-a-dozen petrels still swooping nearby.... time for very late tea and a toasted hot cross bun!