Day 7, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 29MAY22, Day 7, Ascension Island to Grenada. A week at sea! Yesterday continued to include rain clouds and gusty winds. Overnight the sky cleared, the stars shown and the winds became consistent. This morning has been sunny and the winds and seas are calming. We continued to move steadily along in the correct direction.

Current Position: 03 18S / 027 19W
24 hour progress: 125nm, 5.2kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 852nm, approximately 2251nm to Grenada. We continued sailing deep downwind on a starboard tack. We sailed on the poled out genoa all day yesterday and through last night. We switched back over to the asymmetric around an hour ago. The main remained up at the 4th reef.

Yesterday featured mixed weather. There would be some sun and then a dark cloud would approach. These clouds brought gusty winds and rain showers sending us scurrying inside, closing up all the hatches, sweating in the sauna of a closed up boat, and desperately waiting for the rain to stop (when you sail downwind the wind blows all the rain in the door! Not a big deal if it is a drizzle, but when it pours everything becomes dangerously slippy and electronics are at risk.). Then after each shower passed, we opened up the door and the hatches only to repeat the process when the next clouds and rain came.

Jon proclaimed he was over the heat and took an outside shower during one of the rains. Megan passed on the shower until she got so hot and sweaty cooking a semi-complicated meal in the galley that when the meal was done she asked Jon to plate it for himself and the kids, and she ran to the outside shower head. The cold showers help for a short while, but we are back to hot and sweaty soon thereafter. What else should we expect as we are approaching the equator?

The seas remained rolly with the waves coming from two directions. Overnight, the skies cleared and the rain and gusty weather disappeared, but the boat kept rolling. Our winds settled into a constant 20-25kts and we were sailing decently on the poled out genoa. By morning the wind and seas were calming further with the weather forecasts all agreeing that winds should be back in the 15-20kt range. This all suggested it was time to switch back to the asymmetric and pick up a little boat speed again, hopefully.

We started the process around noon UTC. We had a bit of a bubble in the chute and it took a bit of work to get the sail properly unfurled. In the end the whole crew worked together and we sorted out the twists and pinches. We were then back to sailing under the red, white and blue chute in 15-20kts of wind.

In other news - no more hitchhikers! There were no noddys on board last night. We will see if our luck holds out. Perhaps they were going to Fernando de Noronha (about 300nm away now). There are some small gliding birds around - maybe boobies or a type of petrel. We aren't sure.

Fishing line is back in today. Still no luck. Maybe it is time to try a different lure. A Dorado / MahiMahi sounds delicious. Too bad the sea doesn't take requests.

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