Feb 18-20, Beam Reaching & a Cold Front

Date: Feb. 20, 2017, noon Position: 7 23.39 S, 30 45.48 W

Our bumpy beam reach through the NE trades continues…the weather was stifling hot until yesterday morning, when a cold front swept over us. Winds suddenly accelerated to 25-30 knots and held there for about 6 hours, as the temperature dropped 10 degrees F. We cracked off a bit to ride with the winds, but the seas still made a mess of it. We were “inside the washing machine” as they say, high chop all around. One wave broke into the cockpit filling it to the brim, but Privateer just shrugs off these seas and keeps on sailing. With the Yankee rolled up, our storm sails kept us moving along at a comfortable pace.

Now that we’re on the other side of it, we have fresh cooler air and a great sailing breeze, although it lacks the steadiness and constant direction of the SE trades. I’ve been making several dozen course and sail adjustments every day (& sometimes every hour), to keep us sailing in a relatively straight line.

Flying fish erupt from the ocean all around the boat in astonishing numbers. They arc through the rigging and thump off the dodger and cockpit bimini. The boat charging through the water must give them a good scare. We’ve been at sea for 20 days now, and have another 10 or so to go until we reach the Caribbean. It’s a long ocean road!

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