DAY 22 AT SEA

Distance covered so far: 2681 nautical miles
Last 24 hours: 138 nautical miles (5.75 knots average)
To Martinique: 695 nautical miles

An exciting start of the day. This morning we saw squalls coming behind us on the horizon and on radar. At first it looked like a bigger one, like several rain squalls before, that have passed us. But suddenly it blew 35 knots and started to rain heavily. Then there was a loud bang. The boat turned in the wind so quickly that we couldn’t react in time and the sail suddenly started to flap. At first glance it was clear to us what had broken: the spinnaker pole, which poled the genoa outwards, had been torn from the mast. We immediately rolled in the foresail to avoid further damage. Papa, Max and I climbed on deck and saw that the pole’s sledge had broken off. Luckily, the sail, mast rail and sheets were fine. So the pole, which is usually attached to the rail vertically on the mast, was removed and tied to the deck. We still have enough wind to sail the genoa without the spinnaker pole on direct course without it collapsing. If that changes, we will have to zick zack with reaching winds to our destination. Only yesterday in the late afternoon we decided to take a direct course in order not to unnecessarily extend the route. Now we have fewer options, but we will get there anyway. In the Caribbean we will try to find a replacement sled for our spinnaker pole. Otherwise we had a normal day of sailing. The bilge was pumped out, in which rain or splash water collects from time to time, as our mast is keel stepped. The accumulated garbage was sorted, washed, cut into pieces and stowed in the anchor locker. At our current geographical location, the compass heading deviates by 17 degrees from our true heading. That means, if instead of following the magnetic course, we follow the true course according on our compass, we would arrive in Venezuela instead of Martinique. During our entire trip we could see how the deviation increased further as we sailed to the southwest. Up to the Caribbean, however, 17 degrees is the highest deviation that we will experience. The reason for this is the magnetic north pole, which is shifted to the geographic north pole. The magnetic compass shows you north in the direction of the magnetic north pole. Depending on where you are on the globe, the deviations are different. Fortunately, these differences are already included or stated in our navigational devices and we should be heading towards Martinique as planned. Yesterday we also ate the last fillets of the big mahi mahi that we caught a few days ago. Starting today, the line will be cast agian in the hope of the next delicious fish. But the anticipation for local Caribbean food is increasing! The wind increased to force 6 and we made good progress even without our spinnaker pole.

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