Day 4, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 26MAY22, Day 4, Ascension Island to Grenada. Weather for the past 24 hours has been gray! We haven't had this long of gray skies and rain in quite awhile. But there is blue sky out there now, so we are hopeful that we will get some solar power today and a bit less rain. Of course, the plus side (there is almost always a plus side) of the gray and the rain was that things were a bit cooler.

Current Position: 06 21S / 021 12W
24 hour progress: 118nm, 4.9kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 435nm, approximately 2660nm to Grenada. We gybed from port tack back to starboard tack just before noon. We continued sailing deep downwind with the asymmetric and main at the 4th reef, making a good course to Grenada.

The wind continued to be up and down. Typically we would lose the wind right before the rains came and then the winds picked back up (so the opposite of what had been happening with the small cloud systems). Nothing major, just we would go slow and then pick up speed. All was fine to stay on the asymmetric and occasionally we were making some really nice speeds. The wind seems to be a bit less shifty and perhaps a bit more consistent so hopefully we are starting to see the trades re-stabilize. We have gybed this morning as our course on the other tack had worsened. We could be on this starboard tack for most of the rest of the trip, if the weather forecasts are correct. We shall see.

Yesterday, we mentioned seeing a line of AIS hits that we thought were fishing boats just before our gybe at the end of the day's log. As we continued paralleling the AIS beacons for 10 hours and continued thinking more about the very consistent line and odd AIS data, we decided they were probably not boats at all, and likely were nets. How depressing. 50nm (maybe more?) where there is a beacon every 3 or so nm. So no telling if they are individual smallish nets or more probably a very long drift net with intermediary beacons on some floats. We never got closer than 10nm and felt thankful that they were at least marked so that we could avoid them and so that the mothership could find them to recover them. But wow, it seems such a waste and a ravagingly devastating way to fish. We are all a bit sad about it.

We are settling into routines and working well together as a crew. The days are passing with schoolwork, meals and general chores along with audiobooks, reading and podcasts.

Last night we were down to 2 noddy stowaways. They were better behaved with just the 2, but we are hoping we can be free of them soon. Our fishing line has been in, but still no bites. Maybe any fish still free in this area need to remain that way.

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