With 190 odd nautical miles to go and approximately 36 hours to get to our destination, I’m feeling pretty chuffed with how things are going. I know thousands of sailors and ordinary people have made the Transatlantic crossing before me so it may seem ho hum an experience as far as adventure goes. Not for me. This has been a big deal, now we are close to the finish it is exciting.
I am pleased to report thus far there has been no major dramas, no exploding organs, no major discord on the good ship Miss Catana. Our biggest issue has given me one of the best highlights of the trip so far. Our main came down and the comfort levels went up.
Goose winging the Genoa and Gennaker out the front, makes us go faster, the ride is more comfortable and it is so beautiful to watch these two white balanced sails at the front of the boat. The huge bonus of this sail configuration is that our auto pilot likes it and holds course true. Thank God for sweet mercies. After nine and half days of hand steering across the Atlantic it is a pleasure to put the boat on automatic. There is still plenty of hand steering but now you can nip off to pee or grab a drink if you want to.
I need to add a caveat here: Whilst the wind remains directly behind at the current strength range as it has for the past 10 days. I love the current sail configuration. Remember currently we have no main. So now I am praying for no major wind change in the next 36 hours. Please God.
As we get closer I am starting to think of the best bits of the trip thus far.
A Few Highlights To Start
Before we left I would have said our auto pilot would have been the most important piece of equipment on the boat. Nope cross that one off. Hand steering across the Atlantic with four is ok and character building to boot. That means front runner on the equipment list goes to the Watt and Sea Water Generator.
The Watt and Sea is a little marvel that sits behind the starboard steps churning out the power every single hour of this journey. The only time we had a hiccup was when some weed wound round the blades during the night. No drama to fix and back to the business of producing power once dipped back into the sea. It is no small thing to have plenty of power on a sailing boat. Luxuries such as an additional fridge, microwave, computers and cameras all have charge as we need them. We have turned the motors on once this trip as the princess president insisted upon a hot shower. Day nine we had fresh lettuce and salad with our dinner. Impressive and all praise goes to the little water generator for making that possible.
Second place on the equipment list goes to a dual winner, idium Go and Passage Weather. To be connected by email and text message to friends and family is remarkable as you sail across an ocean. Every day weather is downloaded and the comfort this provides makes a huge difference to my head space. The best way to purchase your Iridium Go is via the Passage Weather website. We didn’t buy the external aerial but so far it hasn’t mattered. We just tie the Iridium Go to the boat outside when we want to use it and let it do what it does best, talk to the satellites so we can talk to you.
Highlight number three goes to the waves. Ocean waves are so much bigger than anything else I have experienced. When Miss Catana is nose pointed down on a steep angle surfing down a wave it’s a thrilling ride. The first few times I could have crapped myself as the thrill was a little overwhelming, however days and days on end of surfing down big waves has made it just fun. As you go faster your eyes are always darting to the dial to see how fast you are going. Top speed goes to Captain Carole who notched up 17.1 knots. For all my speedboat owning friends you need to be really impressed by 17.1 knots on a 42 foot sailing cat.
This is seriously fast.
This list will grow as I consider the trip more, however this is all for now.