Atlantic Crossing Day 12

We’re learning that in the Atlantic you just never know what to expect next. In theory we should be sailing in steady 15-20 knot tradewind conditions almost the whole way across the ocean. But given the frequent storms we’ve encountered most of the way so far, we’re not even sure we know what tradewind conditions really look like. The night before last was when we finally blasted through the big “weather complex” (as the forecaster calls it) which was the cause of the disruptive weather conditions we’ve experienced so far. As we pushed through the final front of the complex, the wind blew all night at 30-35 knots while dousing us with torrential rains, big seas, and very gusty conditions. Fortunately everything on the boat held up, including Rupe’s mainsail repairs from a couple days prior. Eventually the complex huffed and puffed its dying 30 knot breaths and in an instant we were in 0 knot winds, thankful to be through it. That was the end of the storms, the end of the big winds, and the end of our sleepless nights for this journey (we think).

Since yesterday morning we’ve faced gorgeous sunny days and very light winds. Again we’re being cheated out of our tradewind conditions, but that’s OK for right now, we can use a little rest. With our big sails flying to catch any wind out there, we’re averaging around 6 knots. It’s a strange feeling to be in the middle of one of the world’s largest oceans, about 1000 miles from nearest land, and have almost swimming pool like conditions. We should transition to real tradewind conditions later today, but we’ll believe that when we see it.

We’ve made enough progress south and west that things are starting to feel like summer again. The water is warm, the cabin fans are back on, and the sun is back on a high arc – all this means the time is perfect for a sunbathing session right about now. We’re declaring today the first day of our second Summer in 2012 – not sure if we have the authority to do that, but there’s nobody here to stop us, so we’re doing it anyway.