Day 14, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 31DEC18, Day 14, Atlantic Crossing. Two weeks at sea! Somewhere around a week to go. The past 24 hours or so have been a mixed bag. We did a lot of work in the morning changing the sail configuration. Then immediately afterwards it looked like we should change back. We decided to take a break and give it time. In the early afternoon things remained the same and we put the asymmetric back up. This significantly increased our speed. We reefed the main twice through the course of the day to try to flatten us out. We were doing well and cruising along. However in the night we hit a rain cell with sustained winds around 25kts. The sleeping crew (Jon) was awakened and we pulled down the asymmetric in the light rain. After that things were calm the rest of the night and speeds were slow in the light winds without the asymmetric up. There have been a couple of rain cells this morning after daylight yet the winds remained fairly low and shifty. The asymmetric got hoisted again once the crew was up and after the rain cells passed. So we are back up to some decent speed.

Current Position: 15 51.7N 044 16.5W
24 hour progress: 138nm, 5.75kts avg SOG, 1993nm total progress, approximately 970nm to go.

Everyone is doing fine. A bit of stir craziness has set in along with general tiredness. Both boys have been bickering and we tried to get them to nap yesterday which didn't work, unsurprisingly. Cooking dinner was an event as there was a lot of chopping on a rolling boat and it took quite awhile. Then both boys fell asleep before dinner was on the table; however, they woke up on the early side this morning. We will try to make the day interesting as a New Year's Eve treat. There have been daily games of Monopoly and some hangman yesterday. Perhaps today will be a movie marathon and/or more games. Oh, and Jon got to disassemble and rebuild the refrigerator circulator pump again resulting in at least some success.

Day 13, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 30DEC18, Day 13, Atlantic Crossing. Yesterday afternoon we put up the asymmetric, brought down the main and sailed deeper downwind. The winds were light and the seas were pretty calm. In the evening the winds picked up a bit, but we continued with just the asymmetric. This morning with gusts hitting 30 knots we brought in the asymmetric, put out the jib and put up the main. Of course, now we haven't seen even 25kts again. Even so we have picked up the average speed which makes everything a bit better, even if things below are a bit more difficult.

Current Position: 15 55.9N 041 56.7W
24 hour progress: 149nm, 6.2kts avg SOG, 1855nm total progress, approximately 1100nm to go.

Everyone is doing well. We have decided that we will go to Martinique, instead of Barbados. This means that we added about a day, but we weren't hitting any kind of speed record anyway. Likely landfall is sometime next weekend - or later if we hit some slow spots that seem to be developing. At any rate the reason that we had planned to go to Barbados was to see other boat kids, but everyone is a week or more ahead of us so they will be gone. Next stops for most of them are St Lucia and Martinique so we will just go straight to Martinique and hope to meet up with other boat kids. Heaven knows Daxton (and therefore everyone) needs the interaction!

Zephyros milestone - our "odometer" hit 10,000 nm over night last night! Not bad for 15 months of sailing.

Time zones - CORRECTION: Barbados and Martinique are GMT -5 (not 4). So we will roll back 3 more times to get to the local time before we arrive.

Day 12, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 29DEC18, Day 12, Atlantic Crossing. Yesterday afternoon cleared up to be sunny and warm. We were able to continue on the port tack into the night. This kept the refrigerator running and we made a good course. Once the winds shifted back to ENE we gybed back to the west. Over the course of the day yesterday we shook out all the reefs in the main and we put up the asymmetric. There was not much wind through the day and into the night. We swapped back to the regular jib when we gybed overnight and winds built back up to 15-20kts. Wind has shifted back to the east so we will gybe south again and get the refrigerator back on.

Current Position: 16 26.7N 039 34.4W
24 hour progress: 126nm, 5.25kts avg SOG, 1705nm total progress, approximately 1180nm to go.

Everyone is doing well. With the lower winds and slower speed yesterday things were very comfortable. The downside is that the slower speed pushes out our expected arrival date. The upside is that there was a monopoly game amongst Jon and the boys which the boys love. We expect the winds to pick back up and keep us moving through the 1st or 2nd when it may slow again.

We had the fishing line in again this morning and caught a small mahi-mahi which will be a poke lunch after awhile. We saw what looked like a school of tuna in the water - and the boys really want to get another tuna - so we put the line back in. We then caught a large mahi-mahi when we passed by a metal pallet. We actually saw quite a few fish in the water with one following just aft of our boat for about 10 seconds. Unfortunately we didn't get the big beautiful mahi-mahi onboard. We should have gaffed him but we were busy and still cleaning the other smaller mahi-mahi. Oh well. Line is back in and we still have meat that needs to be eaten before it goes bad in the refrigerator.

Time zones: we don't really know what the formal delineation is and it really doesn't matter to us. We are aiming for Barbados and they are GMT -4. We left the Canaries which was GMT. We all stand informal watches during daylight hours and then Jon and I swap back and forth in the nighttime hours. So as we have moved west we move dinner to coincide with sunset and hope that the boys sleep until sunrise. Currently that means we have moved back our clocks twice and are functioning at GMT -2. We will change again in about 3 days and then one more time, 2-3 days later.

Day 11, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 28DEC18, Day 11, Atlantic Crossing. Yesterday was sunny and warm. Today is grey and overcast. Winds were largely 20-25kts until the early morning hours when they dropped to 15-20kts. So far today, they are sitting around 20kts. We continue to sail with a full jib and partially reefed main. In the early morning hours we gybed south due to the wind direction, to stay in better wind and to run the refrigerator. Making 250T over ground.

Current Position: 17 18.1N 037 47.5W
24 hour progress: 147nm, 6.1kts avg SOG, 1579nm total progress, approximately 1295nm to go.

Everyone is doing well. The boys have been working on their schoolwork. They had fallen behind pace for where they should be in their math books. All the preparations to cross the Atlantic kept Jon and I distracted enough that they were able to put in minimal efforts. They have been working at it consistently in the crossing. We are all happy that they are catching up a bit. Jon and I have been doing lots of reading and typically take a nap or two throughout the day.

Day 10, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 27DEC18, Day 10, Atlantic Crossing. We continue to see and pass through small rain cells. Yesterday afternoon we avoided most of them, just by luck. Overnight we passed through some of them. Winds have been 20-25kts with gusts of 30+ around the cells. We had Zephyros reefed up with 3 reefs in the main and a reef in the jib. With this configuration she sailed well and only minor adjustments were needed when passing near the cells. It is now sunny and clear and we are back to a full jib, sailing a broad reach. We gybed south due to wind angle and will gybe west again soon.

Current Position: 17 20.7N 035 23.7W
24 hour progress: 156nm, 6.5kts avg SOG, 1431nm total progress, approximately 1430nm to go. Grey and rainy with patches of sunshine and warm weather.

Everyone is doing well. We are now officially halfway mileage wise! The refrigerator continues to be an issue and major frustration. Keeping sufficient cooling water running has been problematic, and harder still when on a starboard tack heading west. We have thus far managed to keep it cold enough inside, hopefully we can continue to keep it going with cycling and constant oversight.

Day 9, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 26DEC18, Day 9, Atlantic Crossing. Yesterday the winds were largely 15-20kts and we have started putting up better speed again. From the late afternoon through the first half of the night we were seeing gusts around 25kts or so which kicked up the seas a bit. Then the wind shifted to the east so the seas got a bit rolly, and were coming from 2 directions which is a bit uncomfortable. In the early morning hours, with the wind shifted, we gybed south to make a better course. A few hours later, we gybed back west. Around sunrise we started hitting small cells of accelerated winds and light rain. So, on we go from 15kts of wind to 30kts of wind back down to 15kts. We continue to sail a broad reaching making a general westerly course.

Current Position: 17 36.4N 032 54.9W
24 hour progress: 141nm, 5.9kts avg SOG, 1275nm total progress, approximately 1570nm to go. Grey and rainy with patches of sunshine. We have seen ends of rainbows a few times.

Everyone is doing well. We figure we are getting somewhere close to the half way point time wise, but not quite mileage wise yet. The trade winds look to be consistent and perhaps on the strong side for nearly all of the rest of the trip. So we are hopeful that we can put up some more big mileage days and make good progress.

Cat update (as requested): they are doing well. Athena has found a corner that she likes and has hunkered down there. She comes out at meal times and to get water and to say hello, but when things are rolly she's been sleeping in her spot. Back on the slow and calm days (23&24 Dec) she was all over the place - hanging out in the pilot house, laying outside and looking for lots of attention. Now she is back to her spot. Poseidon is just chilling out. He was a bit sick and drooling the first day which is normal for him. But after that he has been fine. He's been just as interested in food as always and he's been hanging out with everyone. At night he likes to sleep with the boys and in the day he'll hide in the bed Jon and I use at sea. He has a corner that he likes and stretches out across the pillow in the corner. He also lays on his back under the table and stretches out in the bathroom on the floor which is where we keep their water dish. So basically they are both being normal cats - perhaps sleeping a bit more than usual, but happy and content.

Day 8, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 25DEC18, Day 8, Atlantic Crossing. Merry Christmas!!! The winds have been up and down. Yesterday we sailed with the asymmetric throughout the day. We swapped it for the genoa for the night because the winds were pushing 20kts around sunset. However, after dark the winds fell back down and have largely been 10-15kts. It's all fine as the seas are very mild and easy. We just go slower without the asymmetric up in these conditions. After sunrise, the winds were back to 15kts more consistently, so we have picked up some speed. We are broad reaching making a westerly course.

Current Position: 18 02.7N 030 42.5W
24 hour progress: 123nm, 5.1kts avg SOG, 1134nm total progress, approximately 1700nm to go. Another lovely weather day.

Christmas Eve afternoon saw us baking some cookies. Dinner was left overs as the baking encroached into dinner preparation time, but the food was delicious especially with sweet potato muffins and Christmas cookies. We exchanged gifts (as is our tradition) in the evening. Gifts were minor as the sailing adventure and all of our travel experiences are the real gift. There is, however, a new swing for the boat that everyone is excited about and that has been tried out in the cockpit this morning.

Christmas morning included LEGO sets from Santa and treats in stockings (which were the kids oversized socks that we bought when we went up to the snow on Mount Etna). Fishing line is out and the day is off to a good start.

Merry Christmas everyone from the Zephyros Crew!!!

Day 7, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 24DEC18, Day 7, Atlantic Crossing. Christmas Eve and 1 full week at sea! Yesterday afternoon the winds continued to drop and hung around 5-10kts before falling below 5kts after dark. We really tried to keep sailing, which was rather slow, but in the end our batteries needed a charge and we turned on the motor just before 2200Z. We were back to sailing around 0730Z this morning. We are sailing a reach with the asymmetric and full main in 10-12kts true wind and making good speed again on a course of 265T.

Current Position: 18 17.4N 028 35.6W
24 hour progress: 107nm, 4.5kts avg SOG, 1011nm total progress, approximately 1820nm to go. Yesterday was a very grey day, but today is warm and sunny.

Yesterday was an eventful day - we all swam in the ocean! There was a baking disaster with butter, sugar and egg everywhere! Then there was a successful baking attempt for take 2 without further incident.

We had very little wind for a large part of the day which allowed us to bring in the sail, put a line out with fenders and jump off the bow. Everyone took a turn and the water was quite pleasant, around 72F. We tried to keep sailing but by nighttime our batteries were too low and the wind fell to 3kts so we motored for about 10 hours rather than bobbing in the dark like a discarded cork.

While it was disappointing that we needed to turn on the engine: we have the fuel, we just didn't have the wind, and the batteries needed a charge. Everything else is good and everyone is in high Christmas spirits. No real change on the refrigerator, we run it, give it breaks, and keep an eye on it.

Merry Christmas!!!

Day 6, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 23DEC18, Day 6, Atlantic Crossing. The winds have been around 10-15kts, but continue to drop. We put up the asymmetric spinnaker yesterday afternoon. In the late afternoon we gybed west. We brought down the main overnight and are now sailing downwind on the asymmetric alone, making a westerly course and 3-5kts.

Current Position: 18 29.9N 026 45.5W
24 hour progress: 123nm, 5.1kts avg SOG, 904nm total progress, approximately 1925nm to go. Clouds and haze rolled in yesterday so it was a starless night and it is a very grey day.

While our progress has slowed we are still sailing and the engine has not been on at all since leaving La Gomera. Everyone is doing well though a bit tired, even the kids. Our refrigerator continues to need to be triaged but is staying cold thanks to Jon's continued work and oversight. The next 24 hours or so will likely be slow forward progress for Zephyros. We will see how many baking projects we can tackle to boost morale.

We can see comments to the blog; we just can't reply to them. Dad, we are still thinking 18-20 days is very possible but too early to say how probable.

Day 5, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 22DEC18, Day 5, Atlantic Crossing. The winds have continued to hold about 15-20kts with comfortable seas. We continue to sail a broad reach with 2 reefs in the main and full jib. We haven't touched the sails at all the last 48 hours! We have been making a course over ground between 200-230T.

Current Position: 18 45.4N 024 51.2W
24 hour progress: 143nm, 6kts avg SOG, 781nm total progress, approximately 2035nm to go. Weather continues to be warm and sunny with some scattered clouds and some haze overnight.

We continue to make good time and are all doing fine. Our refrigerator is getting cold again, and we have decided to press on towards the Caribbean without a stop in the Cape Verdes. We plan to make our second turn west around 18 15N, later today. We are hoping to stay in wind but it looks like the 23rd & 24th will be light winds. We figure that is ok and plan to make the most of it, but are optimistically hoping that comes with calm seas (not confused or rolly seas).

Yesterday we snagged a small Mahi Mahi, but he jumped off the line before we got him aboard. Then around noon today we caught and landed another Mahi Mahi - so off to get sushi ready for lunch. Otherwise things have been rather uneventful.

Day 4, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 21DEC18, Day 4, Atlantic Crossing. The winds settled a bit yesterday afternoon but have come back up some. We continue to sail a broad reach with 2 reefs in the main and full jib. We continue to watch the weather and are analyzing when to turn west again. We have been making a course over ground between 200-230T.

Current Position: 20 47.2N 023 33.4W
24 hour progress: 160nm, 6.7kts avg SOG, 638nm total progress, approximately 2120nm to go along the great circle route from our current position to the Caribbean (but we are still pushing south which ultimately adds miles but keeps us in better wind). Weather continues to be warm and sunny with the temperature slowly rising, yesterday afternoon we started seeing some clouds in the skies and today we have high wispy clouds.

The sea state has been variable, calming when the winds are calmer and a little larger swell when the winds are a bit higher. It is still comfortable enough and we managed to clean the kitchen at a relatively more gentle time yesterday. Cooking dinner was again a full contact sport. We still expect to continue in similar conditions for a couple of days and then have a bit of slower progress just before and around Christmas.

We continue to make good time and are all doing fine. Our refrigerator is acting up - Jon worked on it some this morning and perhaps it is starting to work properly again. We are considering whether we should go to the Cape Verdes as the winds are pushing us close anyway. The question is whether we can fix it there or just triage it, like Jon is already doing aboard. For now we continue to use it as a large cooler, limit opening it, and hope our fresh meat that was solidly frozen continues to last. If/when it goes, we still have plenty of food - but we will be on potatoes, pastas and rice dishes with canned meat (tuna and chicken), and any fresh fish we may catch. Perfectly liveable but annoying. Unfortunately this refrigerator unit has been an issue and source of continued frustrations for different reasons over our 15 months onboard. Life on a boat!

Day 3, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 20DEC18, Day 3, Atlantic Crossing. The winds have been sitting around 25kts +/- 5kts. We continue to sail a broad reach. We put a second reef in the main yesterday afternoon but continue to have the full jib out. This morning around 0820 we gybed back to the south. There is a high pressure that is pushing into the trade winds and we want to stay south of it and continue to be able to reach in the trade winds. Also the winds had started to shift more easterly which made our course about 290T and now that we gybed we are heading around 225T.

Current Position: 23 08.1N 022 17.5W
24 hour progress: 174nm!, 7.25kts avg SOG!, 478nm total progress, approximately 2210nm to go along the great circle route from our current position to the Caribbean (but we are pushing south which ultimately adds miles but keeps us in better wind). Weather continues to be warm and sunny though it is a bit hazy today.

The sea state increased due to the winds sitting around 25kts. It is still comfortable enough and we are all sleeping well. However, cleaning up and cooking has become a bit of a contact sport, and the occasional big wave from a slightly different direction makes sure you are holding on. Zephyros is sailing great and we have a new 24 hour sailing record for mileage and speed average! We expect to continue in similar conditions for a couple of days and then everything should settled down to give us some calmer days around Christmas.

The last 24 hours have been speedy but quiet. Our morning featured a visit from a large pod of spotted dolphins. The little guys didn't stay too long, but they put on a good acrobatic show. We have also seen a lone seagull. No fish, no other boat sightings.

Day 2, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 19DEC18, Day 2, Atlantic Crossing. We have continued to sail with winds largely 15-20 kts. In the early morning hours we started seeing some gusts up to 25 and more recently closer to 30 kts. Things remain rather comfortable and we have been making good speed and progress south. After daylight, just after 9am, we decided to gybe which makes our course westerly. We may need to gybe south again at some point to stay in the trade winds, but we should be able to make some progress west for awhile. We are continuing to sail a broad reach. We reefed the main around 0940 when gusts built above 25 kts. We've made a general course of 200T and then 260T after the gybe.

Current Position: 23 46.6N 019 26.0W
24 hour progress: 154nm, 6.4kts avg SOG, 304nm total progress, approximately 2370nm to go along the great circle route from our current position to the Caribbean (we may still push further south of the great circle to stay in better wind). Current weather is warm and sunny, each day has gotten a little warmer.

The conditions continue to be pretty easy and we are excited to have maintained such good average speeds - 2 days in a row of 100% sailing and 150+nm days is a new Zephyros record. Jon and I both slept pretty deeply last night so today will hopefully include catching a bit of extra sleep as we settle into the watch schedule.

Yesterday, after sending out our update we had an exciting couple of hours. We saw a wooden pallet floating in front of us. As we came past it, we saw that there was a sea turtle swimming next to it. I was hoping the turtle wouldn't grab our fishing lure when I saw that our line had already caught a fish! We all also saw more fish under the pallet (confirming why we don't put 2 lines in - maybe if we get low on food we will consider it though). We all got excited and set to work. The fish was clearly colorful which meant we had caught a Mahi Mahi!!! Also at the same time as all this was going on we were at our closest point of approach with our sailboat companion that had showed up yesterday morning plus a new cargo ship, that we had also been tracking and watching. This ship was getting ready to pass us on a reciprocal course, fairly closely. Everyone did a great job with Ronan standing watch and lookout while Jon filleted the fish. I cleaned up the morning dishes and got the sushi rice going and Daxton helped bring the fish inside and helped with the kitchen clean up.

By 1530 everything had settled down, we all had eaten a good sized portion of Mahi poke and we haven't seen another vessel close to us since. In fact, we lost sight and contact with the other sailboat later in the afternoon and haven't seen any other contacts at all. Basically all the major excitement of the day occurred in a 15-30 minute period.

The Mahi Mahi was a good size and we had a delicious lunch and dinner out of it. The cats are still not interested though and continue to demand their dry food. Other excitement of the day was that the boys finished up creating our passage bingo chart and we already have 5 squares marked off (underway - which is the free space, sea turtle, 150nm sail day, catch a fish and trade wind turn). We are hoping to get a blackout bingo by the end of the passage.

Day 1, Atlantic Crossing

1230Z 18DEC18, Day 1, Atlantic Crossing. We departed La Gomera in calm conditions and motored south for around an hour and half. As we moved out of the lee of the island we raised our mainsail and the wind built to just over 10kts. This meant the jib also went out, the motor went off and we have been sailing since. It has been an easy and calm start to the crossing with winds largely sitting around 15kts +/- 5kts and the seas rather comfortable. We started off on a close reach and have fallen off to a broad reach with full main and jib making a general course of 210T over ground and moving well.

Current Position: 25 54N 018 23W
24 hour progress: 150nm, 6.25kts avg SOG, approximately 2500nm to go, current weather is warm and sunny, yesterday was hazy and we lost sight of land quickly.

As the excitement to be on our way has started to fade we are looking to settle into routines. The general ease of the conditions is making it easy to start getting into our grooves.

We saw a single dolphin for awhile after we set our sails and he played off our bow and leapt out of the water off our port quarter. We have had the fishing line in, but no fish, yet. This morning around 10am a sailboat popped up next to us on AIS and visually. So we now have someone to race, though he seems to be a bit bigger than us and going slightly faster so far.

We arrive in the Canary Islands!

1930Z 02DEC18, Day 6, Gibraltar-Canary Islands. We sailed and motored through the day. We had hoped to make the anchorage before dark, but watched the sunset over Graciosa and Lanzarote. We were safely anchored just after 1900, about an hour after sunset. It was a lovely weather day and we finished out the trip smoothly. 

Passage summary: 131.5 hours, 597 nm, 4.5 kts avg SOG — a little slow, but not bad given the slog against the current to escape the Strait of Gibraltar.

We were all happy to have arrived and there was excited energy throughout the day. We had a nice dinner with a celebratory glass of wine and then everyone went off for a good night's sleep. We were happy to have completed our longest passage yet. It was relatively smooth with some minor issues we will quickly sort, and as always, continuous learning. 

Day 5, Gibraltar to Canary Islands

0730Z 02DEC18, Day 5, Gibraltar-Canary Islands. We sailed all through the day yesterday with winds around 20 knots. The day was cloudy and a bit grey with a tiny bit of rain. We sailed downwind with the jib and made good progress. Overnight the winds went down to around 10 knots and we motored for a few hours. With the sea state and the low winds we were getting rolled around a bit. We really needed to be on our asymmetric sail, but it did not make a lot of sense to put it up in the middle of the night. Plus we needed to charge our batteries anyway, so on went the motor. The early morning saw some more wind and we went back to sailing with the jib. 

120 hour progress: 545 nm, 4.5 kts avg SOG. We are hoping to be settled in the Canaries for the night before sunset. Around 50-70nm to go depending on where we decide to stop. 

We are all in good spirits and looking forward to seeing land again. This has been our longest passage to date and we are quite happy with how it has gone. The highlight of the day was that we were finally sailing without using the engine (about 36 hours straight). The boys continue to do schoolwork, dishes and watches. Yesterday saw more rolly seas, so we weren't sure how much schoolwork they would get done, but they persevered.

Day 4, Gibraltar to Canary Islands

0730Z 01DEC18, Day 4, Gibraltar-Canary Islands. We are now consistently sailing! We turned off the engine around 1130 yesterday and have been sailing since. We are sailing downwind and were using our asymmetric until around 0300. By that time the winds were sitting around 20 knots, so in watch turnover Jon and I worked the sail change. We have switched to the heavier jib and continue to make good progress. We have gybed once and will likely gybe again today, perhaps a time or two. The seas have developed a little bit with the wind and we are getting rolled about at times, but it is still comfortable overall.

96 hour progress: 431.2 nm, 4.5 kts avg SOG.  We expect to make landfall tomorrow afternoon.

Whales! Jon spotted spouts in the water and we all came out expecting to see a pod of dolphins. Instead there were 3 whales at the surface. We sailed relatively close to them and they continued to spout. They seemed to be smaller than our boat and had a very small dorsal fin. We will have to look up what type of whale they might have been when we have internet again. They did not seem to mind our passing by. One picked up its head like he wanted to get a look, but they did not come over to the boat and we sailed on.

Everyone is well and we have all settled into a bit of a rhythm. The boys continue to make progress with their school work, stand watches, and play together. We've been cooking and eating well and are all happy with the passage so far.

Day 3, Gibraltar to Canary Islands

0730Z 30NOV18, Day 3, Gibraltar-Canary Islands. Not much wind again over the past 24 hours. We were able to sail off and on through out the day. The seas are still calm and we made ok speed in low winds. We have had the motor on for 12+ hours, all through the night. The wind is forecasted to increase enough to be able to sail sometime today. There was a decent amount of boat traffic as we paralleled the Moroccan Coast, about 30nm off, for a good part of the day. There are also a few other sailboats out making the trip and we see one from time to time. Otherwise things are quiet and we are ready to sail a bit more. 

72 hour progress: 319.6 nm, 4.4 kts avg SOG, passed halfway point! About 275 nm to go. 

Dolphins! Our big excitement of the day was a pod of bottle nose dolphins that came to visit us for about 20 minutes. There were quite a few and they swam and surfaced a lot whistling and clicking to each other. At some point most of them swam on, but 2 stayed at our bow, practically rubbing against the boat for awhile. We all enjoyed the show and morale boost. Earlier in the day, we had put out the fishing line, but this time the fish won and snapped our line; so it seems that fish was too big, and we need some higher strength line on our hand reels along with some more lures. Current score for the trip is Zephyros: 1, Fish: 1. 

Everyone is well, and watches and school work continue. Daxton is taking his DJ / watch standing duties seriously.

Day 2, Gibraltar to the Canaries

0730Z 29NOV18, Day 2, Gibraltar-Canary Islands. It has been a relatively slow but beautiful day. There has been a good deal of motoring / motor sailing. The winds were below 5kts throughout the day, which was forecasted and not a surprise. The seas have been calm with just a low, long Atlantic swell that has been very comfortable. Overnight we were able to sail from about 2200-0145 and then again from 0445 where the winds were over 5kts. We have been pleasantly surprised that Zephyros is sailing well making 3-4+ kts in 6-8 kts of wind! Generally she needs more wind to move so that shows just how calm the water currently is that we can sail (close hauled) in such light winds. The winds are forecasted to start filling in, in the next day or so, so we are hopeful that day 3 will include more sailing and less motoring/motor sailing. 

48 hour progress: 214.7 nm, 4.5kts avg SOG 

Fish on! The big news and excitement was that we caught our first fish underway!!! A nice sized tuna caught, ironically, right after we had just finished lunch - but we had a second lunch of tuna poke over rice anyway. The whole crew (except for the naïve cats!) was super excited and it filled up an hour or so of our otherwise uneventful day. The cats didn't touch their sushi - spoiled little buggers don't know what they are missing, but more for us then. There was also a nice fish dinner - broccoli, quinoa and seared tuna steaks - yum! And that was the end of our first tuna, it has been decided that we need a bit bigger fish next time, so fingers crossed and perhaps we will put the line back in soon. We were happy our first one was a manageable size, easy to store in the refrigerator and fed us 1.5 meals. 

We continue to be in good spirits and are well rested. The boys did school work and watches as well as dishes. We've listened to music together and played games.

Day 1, Gibraltar to Canary Islands

0730Z 28NOV18, Day 1, Gibraltar-Canary Islands. We departed Gibraltar 24 hours ago. Everything has been well. We motored through Gibraltar bay and then set sails along the coast of Spain. Winds were 15kts and we sailed for a bit before being set by the current so on the motor went to ensure forward progress with the sails still assisting. We made it past Tarifa and picked up speed, turned off the engine and sailed across the strait. We had good downwind sailing without the motor for about 12 hours. We even braved night time asymmetrical sailing - only to hit 20+kts of true wind and change to the jib. We moved along well until around 0230 when the wind dropped below 5 kts and the motor has been on since. Seas have been calm with a long period 1-2 meter Atlantic swell. 

24 hour progress: 107.1nm, 4.5kts avg SOG

Crew is all in good spirits. The boys did school work yesterday and watches have been easy. It was good to get moving again and have a gentle reintroduction to everyone's sealegs. Poseidon got a bit sick right as we left (likely nerves) but is back to being himself already.