Distance covered so far: 2399 nautical miles
Last 24 hours: 150 nautical miles (6.25 knots average)
To Martinique: 961 nautical miles
Less than 1000 nautical miles to the Caribbean! The sun fought its way through the cloud cover yesterday and we enjoyed a perfect day of sailing. Since the gusts got stronger and stronger, we hoisted the mainsail in 3rd reef. But as so often the wind wanted to annoy us and became weaker again. So after dinner we increased the sail size in the 2nd reef again. During the day Papa, Max and I talked about other adventures that would interest us. Ideas included everything from sailing through the icy North-west Passage, exploring the Mediterranean and various island groups in the Pacific, as well as the west coast of North America. You can never dream enough :-). Our night watches then began with the sunset. When everyone else in the boat disappears and goes to sleep, the last sunlight disappears sets behind the horizon and the breathtaking starry sky becomes noticeable, you are alone in the dark.
The only light you can see are our dimmed instruments, running lights on the masthead, millions of stars and the crazy bio-luminescence of the plankton that is churned up by the boat; until the moon rises and allows a little more vision again. But it is not quiet in this peaceful situation. Right now, every little noise is particularly noticeable. The waves rush and beat past the boat. The wind whistles in your ears. It feels like you are sailing a lot faster than in daylight. The sea and the weather don’t sleep. Again and again the horizon, AIS and radar are scanned for lights and other boats, and regular checks are made to see whether Tippin Tony (wind control system) is keeping us on course or if the wind is changing. Stars, planets and constellations are searched for in the starry sky. We see less airplanes than shooting stars and satellites. The hope of discovering another sailboat within reach also remains. And just like that your 2-hour watch is over, the next one is already sticking his or her head out of the companionway, you briefly talk through what happened, write in the logbook, nibble some snack in the galley and make yourself comfortable in your bunk. Papa was up earlier yesterday and we rumored in the cockpit why the depth gauge often sets off at night and shows between 2-4 meters below the water line. Where Max suspects a measurement error, Papa and I find the idea of mysterious marine animals accompanying us more beautiful. At midnight we had to set the third reef again because the wind blew in gusts of up to 27 knots and one or the other wave splashed over deck. With the sails reduced, the boat was well balanced again and we had a relaxing night. In order to be more stable in the steep waves, Max and Papa took the 3rd reef out of the sail in the morning and we are again working on a good next 24 hour cut. If we continue like this, we may arrive on January 16 in Martinique. In the morning we found the second dead flying fish on deck. We could observe these small fish with strong caudal fin and fan-like side fins on the entire crossing so far, as they catapult themselves elegantly out of the water and glide several meters in the air when we approach. This morning the barometer rose pretty quickly and we therefore suspect a change in weather with increasing winds. We’ll tell you tomorrow whether it arrived.