The Trades are back!
17d 11m N 048d 47m W
Finally... this is what we imagined it to be all along: 15-20 knots from the ENE, a gentle and long Atlantic swell and sunny skies with lots of cumulus and the occasional squall - let's hope it stays this way until Antigua! Between contrary winds, being becalmed and some technical problems we are now looking at a 26 day passage (vs the hoped for 21-23 days), hoping to get into Antigua on Wednesday, 12DEC. In any case - all is well aboard, Nicky continues to enjoy his Lego and Peter, Nana and Markus enjoy the tropical sun. Having to hand-steer from here onwards is a bit of a pain but manageable between 3 people (we had to dismount the windvane self-steering in mid-Atalntic, see previous post below). Our watch system with 4 hour long watches during the day (between 0600 and 1800 boat time which currently is UTC-4) and 3 hour long watches during the night has worked well and after 2 1/2 calm days everyone is pretty well rested. This morning actually found us less than 1 nm away from an Italian catamaran ("Double Trouble") also en route to Antigua (with a crew of 7 Italians and 1 Kiwi). We chatted briefly on the VHF before their greater boat speed had them pull ahead. It is a bit of a surprise to come so close to another sailboat after not having seen any sign of human life for many days. We did however hear whales snorting next to Namani two nights ago and have had numerous dolphin pods joining us for part of our journey, playing in our bow wave. And there is of course the daily radio sked on the SSB every morning at 1000 where the Blue Water Rally boats update each other on their current positions and exchange weather information.
Now we can only hope that our fishing-luck will return in time for dinner tonight... stay tuned...