Day 26, Ascension Island to Grenada - ARRIVAL

1330Z 17JUN22, Day 26, Ascension Island to Grenada. We made it! We flew the last 12 or so hours and we could have gone faster, but we kept things at a nice clip to arrive in the early morning. 

Current Position: 12 03N / 061 45W - tied up in the Port Louis Marina

22.5 hour progress: 132nm, 5.9kts avg SOG, about 1 hour on the engine. 

3264 nautical miles sailed

25 days 22.5 hours (622.5 hours)

5.24 knots average speed over ground

45.9 hours of engine time

2 dorado, caught, landed and eaten

2 ¿amberjack?, (1 medium and 1 small) caught, landed and eaten

6-8 other small fish caught and released back to the sea

Major Casualties: blown asymmetric spinnaker

9693nm sailed between 7 January - 17 June!!!

Yesterday's weather was hazy, but we still managed to get good solar power. We sailed deep down wind on a starboard tack. (Most of our sail to Grenada was on a starboard tack.) By late afternoon the course was a bit high and we wanted to go around the south end of Grenada so we considered our options. We decided to gybe the main sail and leave the genoa poled out on the port side. This increased our speed nicely and was quite comfortable with the calmer seas - rolly, but not too much. 

As we were aiming for a morning arrival, we left the 3 reefs in the main. We could easily have added speed by shaking out some reefs. As the kids did their last watches we gave them night orders not to go too fast. They disobeyed (it's a joke, as they had no way to control speed) as the current picked up adding almost 2kts of boat speed. It must be a law of good ol' Murphy that the easiest time to effortlessly go fast is when you don't need or want to.

By Megan's mid-watch it was approaching time to put a little north back in our westerly course. We decided to wait a bit from the turnover and Megan was going to wake Jon for the maneuver. However, Daxton popped up to see how things were going and Megan quickly recruited his assistance. They gybed the main back across and were able to turn up pretty well soon to a broad reach which kept us moving well towards Grenada, along with the current. 

Jon had the sunrise watch and both kids joined him - just a little excited about our arrival! They were able to secure the pole and turn north around the west side of Grenada while Megan continued to try to get in a little nap. It is quite nice to have the boys help with sails. It makes a difference. 

We sailed north and had morning coffee. Then, when we were a few miles out and were no longer making headway to St George's by sailing close hauled, we secured the genoa and turned on the engine. We headed in and did all the normal boat clean up and preparations to anchor. As the cats were still not sorted we thought we would anchor out to try to figure out what was going on before we headed into the marina. 

As we approached the anchorage we realized there were mooring buoys. We grabbed one and secured ourselves. We were able to find a free internet broadcast and start some research. Jon called the government office that was supposed to do our permit to try to see what was going on. Soon thereafter a dinghy came by from a neighboring boat. They welcomed us and we chatted for a minute. We mentioned our issue with the cats and they said they had the exact same issue (they have 1 cat) and their friend that has 2 cats also had the same issue! They assured us that it would be no problem to enter. They had declared the cat on the paperwork and nobody from customs asked for the permit which would show up later. This was all quite a relief that we weren't the only ones that this happened to and that it wasn't a big deal on check-in. 

With this new knowledge we prepared to come in to the marina. Jon called the marina on the radio and they told us on which side to have fenders and promised to help us to our berth. So after about an hour on the mooring we were on our way into the marina. They guided us to our spot, but we decided it was a bit tight (marinas are tricky for us with no bow thruster and a short rudder, plus we were all tired after our passage!) and we negotiated for an easier spot. We were soon tied up and given a friendly welcome to Grenada. 

Jon was then off for check in arrangements. They were indeed easy and Megan received the pet permits around the same time. We plan to stay in the marina for a week and to get some things done. Then we will cruise Grenada a little bit and finally head down to Trinidad for our boat work. There is a nice restaurant and a pool at the marina. Internet at the boat is a bit spotty, but it is good and fast at the restaurant and pool. 

Thank you for following along. We will largely move posts back to Facebook and Instagram, with more pictures, which can also be viewed through this blog on our social media page. We appreciate all the love and support!

Day 25, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 16JUN22, Day 25, Ascension Island to Grenada. Another good progress day, more or less direct to Grenada, with help from the current. The Strawberry Supermoon continued to keep us company.

Current Position: 11 57N / 059 48W
24 hour progress: 139nm, 5.8kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 3132nm, approximately 116nm to Grenada. We continued sailing deep downwind with the poled out genoa, 3 reefs in the main and a nice push from the current.

Yesterday was largely sunny weather. Most of the rain clouds and storm cells dissipated. The winds largely stabilized around 20kts with only the occasional gusts stronger or holes with lighter winds. We continued to make better than expected progress as the current continued to boost our speeds over ground. As we are pointed nearly directly downwind, it has been very rolly aboard.

The sea is still green. We still haven't caught another fish, just lots of weed. The sargassum weed has diminished (maybe?) so we are trying the fishing line again. We made pizza last night so we are definitely not suffering without fish right now.

We saw some different bird life yesterday. There was a masked booby that was fishing near the boat. Daxton decided that indicated that he should be fishing. He put the line in and got a bite, but no fish. One of these days he will probably hook something big by the boat and lose the whole fishing rig. We also had a noddy hanging out on our solar panels for awhile overnight. As it was just the one, (s)he was quiet, but there was still a mess to clean up this morning.

Spirits aboard are high as we continue to look good for a Friday morning arrival. Still lingering is a pending import permit for the cats which could keep us from being able to check in and be ashore tomorrow. (We have spent the last week trying to complete final coordination for the permit that is only valid for 10 days. We expected this would be relatively simple and straightforward. However, there seems to have been a miscommunication or lost documents and since last night we have been trying to resend large file documents that we sent back in St Helena when we had internet - all in an attempt to avoid this exact situation. Iridium GO! and big emails do not mix or make for happy crew and they take down email, delaying blog posts.) We are trying to temper the mood just in case things don't go smoothly. Fingers crossed we can work it out and be checked in tomorrow and enjoying a meal and a drink ashore.

Day 24, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 15JUN22, Day 24, Ascension Island to Grenada. A solid progress day, direct to Grenada, with a devastating loss of a favorite sail. The Strawberry Supermoon was impressive last night, lighting our way and keeping us company.

Current Position: 11 36N / 057 29W
24 hour progress: 138nm, 5.75kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 2993nm, approximately 252nm to Grenada. We destroyed our asymmetric spinnaker and have been sailing deep downwind with the poled out genoa, 3 reefs in the main and a nice current assist.

The day started off with sunny weather and a few storm clouds. We whisked along nicely with the red, white and blue asymmetric chute flying and enjoyed a quick 33333 celebration as the boat odometer rolled over this milestone. The first cell hit us after the 24 hour log entry was made and suddenly pummeled us with 30+kt winds and 25+kts of apparent wind (wind over the deck and through the sail). We tried to head straight downwind and let out the sheet for the chute, but she ripped in two and shredded. It was a very sad (and likely expensive) moment. At that point we weren't paying much attention to the anemometer anymore, so we don't know what the peak gust registered.

The boys were quick to the cockpit and we all set to work in the freshly pouring rain to secure the sail. Thankfully the luff (the leading edge of the sail that holds the torsion line that goes from the bow to the top of the mast) remained intact. This allowed us to furl in the sail. It was a mess, but it all eventually wrapped in to a coil and we were able to get the full sail back on deck and secured. The sail will likely be repairable, but it will need some time with a good sail loft / sailmaker which should be possible in Trinidad. We aren't sure if we ripped panels or just seams. At any rate it will need new edging and possibly some new panels. It was a sad, sad moment. Spinnakers are made of light weight fabric and if you sail them enough, eventually one will tear (or dramatically disintegrate) and you have a very sad day.

Apparently this was all a sign that the weather was no longer stable enough for the asymmetric anyway and we needed to be on the poled out genoa. This is slower, of course, but very safe and stable in gusting winds.

The rest of the day was filled with sun and occasional storm clouds. The storms cells didn't have any lightning, but they did have a lot of energy. Packing 35-40kt winds for 10-20min as they rolled over us, often with a good shower. Definitely not weather for us and an asymmetric. The rest of the time the winds were largely steady around 20kts, and so they remain.

There was a lot of disappointment throughout the boat as we all knew that we needed to make around a 5.5kt avg to arrive in Grenada Friday morning. The boat goal has been to try to make Friday in time to check in and have a celebratory meal out. Of course, arriving Friday night or Saturday morning would also be totally fine, but we like goals and working together towards them. Being on the genoa in <20kt winds made a 5.5kt avg unlikely and we all knew it. However, we have all been pleasantly surprised that we have beat this target with the help of a good current in our favor! Help from the current has largely eluded us this trip. So while the weather forecast suggested we should have favorable current, we weren't counting on it, as it has very rarely been helpful for us this passage.

In a good news story for the day, Jon worked on the inverter again as the laptop was nearly out of power. He found the problem! Ok, he found *a* problem, it may or may not be *the* (only) problem as these aren't exactly simple systems. After more switch flipping was unsuccessful, off went the box covers and out came the multimeter and then the networking tools. It seems that one of the male terminals on the Ethernet cable connecting the inverter with its remote control panel was not seating securely in the socket on the inverter card and slight movements/vibrations of the cable were resulting in all kinds of random signals. (Who expects that there will be movement and vibrations on a rocking and rolling boat???)

The sea has remained green in color and so far no fish for us. The line is back in as we continue downwind, rolling from side to side. One more fish meal would be nice, but we can figure out two more dinner meals or even three (or more), if need be without going too deep in the cans. Almost there.

Day 23, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 14JUN22, Day 23, Ascension Island to Grenada. Yet another slower progress day direct to Grenada. The weather has been mixed.

Current Position: 11 20N / 055 11W
24 hour progress: 107nm, 4.5kts avg SOG, about 2 hours motor sailing. Overall progress for the passage is 2855nm, approximately 390nm to Grenada. We sailed the asymmetric and played with angles and reefs in the main to try to get some speed.

The day started off with decent speeds and a deep broad reach. By afternoon the clouds had returned and winds were dying down. This time the lower winds were expected. We shook out all but one reef in the main and sailed a deep broad reach so as to try to take advantage of the main. It kind of worked. Speeds were low, but so was the wind speed.

In the late afternoon we tried to get our inverter on again. It really didn't want to come on this time. We decided to turn on the engine to see if that helped boost power enough to coax it to come on. It did not. As speeds were low anyway, we used the engine to assist for a short while and make a little water.

Before sunset we went back to 3 reefs in the main, secured the engine and returned to slow deep downwind sailing. We crept along. 2 forecasts suggested the wind would return in the evening and another suggested it would be the early morning hours. Unfortunately it was the early morning hours forecast that was correct. Since the winds filled back in, we have been moving well again.

The early morning also came with some rain cells that we maneuvered through. Those clouds remain scattered around and will likely mean some variable winds today. But for now we are back in strong sun. The weather forecasts suggest we will have 20+kt winds for the rest of the trip. We are hopeful that will be true.

Daxton entertained himself yesterday by trying to actively fish the sargassum patches again. He caught 2 fish in quick succession. One was deemed big enough for 2 nice fillets so was kept and filleted by him. The other was too small and returned to the sea. The hope was that a second small (but not tiny) fish would be caught, but Daxton tired of the active fishing game and we went back to trolling which ended up being the collection of weed and not fish, unsurprisingly.

Daxton spotted a couple of dolphins in the evening. They didn't stay with us very long, but they are always nice company. We were thankful for their short visit. It seems a sign that land is approaching, even if our ETA is swinging across 3 days (still). This sail has seemed to be either 3-4kts or 6+kts, not much just right, comfortable, middle ground sailing.

The sea this morning is a decidedly green color and a bit harder to see through. It is a stark contrast to the clear blue waters we have been sailing across. On the plus side, there is not nearly as much sargassum weed around this morning. The trolling line is back in, so we'll see if we can coax a fish out of the deep green.

Day 22, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 13JUN22, Day 22, Ascension Island to Grenada. The sun has returned! We had a slower progress day direct to Grenada.

Current Position: 11 09N / 053 24W
24 hour progress: 117nm, 4.9kts avg SOG, almost 2.5 hours motor sailing. Overall progress for the passage is 2748nm, approximately 495nm to Grenada. We swapped over to the asymmetric and added a reef to the main. We are back to sailing downwind. (Apparently the usual double checks on yesterday's data were skipped - oops. The overall was incorrect, it should have been 2631nm which then led to an incorrect week 3 stat, which should have been 952nm actually sailed in the week.)

The winds yesterday afternoon continued to be inconsistent and the weather cloudy and gray. We gave the weather some time to see what we would get. Apparently we were going to get winds far less than forecasted. While there were still gray clouds all around, the rain and gusty winds were gone.

While Megan was napping, the rest of the crew furled up the genoa, brought in the pole, added a reef to the main (to reduce blocking of the asymmetric), raised the asymmetric and launched the chute. The evolution even went smoothly. It was great teamwork and good for the boys to have successfully helped Jon. They have learned a lot and have become decent crew.

With the chute up, the wind speeds dropped even further to about 10kts and boat speeds were quite low. It was a bit of a morale sink as everyone has really started looking forward to landfall. The boys are making calculations every few hours on minimum speeds needed for different arrival times. Boat speeds of only 3-4kts significantly extend the time left!

Daxton decided to entertain himself yesterday afternoon by trying to actively fish the sargassum patches. This meant he watched and waited for a big patch to come by, then he launched a short fishing line alongside. He caught 3 small fish in 1.5 hours this way! They were all deemed too small and thrown back, but around fish 3, we were questioning this decision. Certainly 2 of them would have been a meal for the 4 of us. At any rate, even without providing a meal, it kept him entertained for a couple hours.

Later, Megan and Daxton baked up a batch of biscuits. These were a nice afternoon snack, and delightful for breakfast this morning as well. They were enjoyed with some special Uruguayan honey, homemade Tierra del Fuego Calafate jam, and a little English clotted cream we found in the Falklands.

By dinner time it was more than clear that we weren't going to get any more power out of the sun (or wind or water) and we turned on the engine. We kept it at enough rpms to keep our boat speeds between 5-6kts while we charged up the batteries a bit. Sometimes that wasn't much, other times it was a bit more. Clearly we should have motor sailed earlier in the day when we had boat speeds of 3-4kts and 10kts of wind, but we had been hopeful that the sun might come out and boost power just enough that we wouldn't need the engine. But alas that just didn't happen and battery charge was quite low.

By sunset, the winds had re-stabilized around 15-20kts and the skies began to clear. The boat speeds were back up to a more respectable 5kts. The waves also became a bit more organized and a bit smaller, though the odd large roller still tosses us around a little. The sun is out today, so we should be able to further boost our power back up with solar and hydro.

We are back to fishing. There is no more fresh meat in the fridge, just some sausages and bacon. We have some canned meats, so we will not be without proteins and Megan is creative enough in the kitchen. However, another fish meal or two would be well received. Remarkably, we still have a few fresh apples left. Less remarkably we still have potatoes. There are also a few butternut squashes, a bit of red cabbage, a couple of onions and lemons. We roasted the last of Derek's delicious zucchini gourds last night—which Daxton devoured. The rest of our fruits and veggies are otherwise down to cans and Tetra-paks.

Day 21, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 12JUN22, Day 21, Ascension Island to Grenada. 3 weeks at sea! And less than a week left to go. Another good progress day, more or less on rhumb line. The weather has featured rain clouds and highly variable winds.

Current Position: 10 57N / 051 27W
24 hour progress: 136nm, 5.7kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 2731nm, approximately 611nm to Grenada. We continued sailing a broad reach to downwind with 2 reefs in the main and the genoa poled out. We still haven't touched the sails. Week 3 stats: 1052nm actually sailed in the week which knocked off about 929nm of the great circle course. We ran the engine for 2.9h. (And we never posted week 2 stats: 827nm actually sailed in the week which knocked off about 711nm of the great circle course. We ran the engine for 20.3h.)

The winds started off steady and constant between 20-25kts, but have now gone quite variable again. Yesterday afternoon we started going through rain clouds and that brought the usually associated large variations to the winds. Low winds to high winds and back. The direction also shifted, moving 20-30 degrees and back.

Today's weather is gray, dreary and hazy, again. The sun occasionally peeks out for a short while and we saw the moon for a bit overnight. It helps that it is getting close to being a full moon that shines through cloud cover. The boat has gotten a few light rinses in all the rain. A good wash down is still needed.

Boat speeds are currently down. We are looking for the weather to stabilize a bit and deciding if / when we should put out the asymmetric. We're still rolling about quite a bit in the mixed waves.

The fishing line has been in the water and has come back onto the boat. We caught a little fish and let him go. We are constantly hooking more weed, and if someone doesn't want to actively tend to the line and clean off the weed, then it doesn't make sense to keep it in the water all day.

All else is pretty quiet. We are all starting to look forward to land fall and refining our guesses as to when it will occur.

Day 20, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 11JUN22, Day 20, Ascension Island to Grenada. Another good progress day, more or less on rhumb line. The weather remains overcast and gray. Today feels largely the same as yesterday.

Current Position: 10 34N / 049 12W
24 hour progress: 147nm, 6.1kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 2495nm, approximately 746nm to Grenada. We continued sailing a broad reach with 2 reefs in the main and the genoa poled out. We haven't touched the sails.

The winds have remained steady and constant between 20-25kts with slightly higher gusts at times. The winds haven't really changed direction. We tweaked our course here and there, but we remained on a broad reach headed directly to Grenada. The ride has improved a bit with the waves slightly more aft (or we have gotten used to the motion since it has been more or less this way for days).

Today's weather is gray, dreary and hazy, just like yesterday. The sun never really burned through yesterday which does keep the temperatures a bit cooler. The haze has included more Saharan dust, but it isn't accumulating as quickly as before. Another good wash down will be welcomed in the coming days.

The sargassum weed thickness comes and goes. Last night we passed through massive patches of it for several hours. Jon gave up trying to keep a dagger board down as it was almost impossible to pull it back up after even 5 minutes down due to the heavy weed accumulation. Eventually the weed spread out to the familiar lines and the dagger board went back down improving our course holding and reducing our energy use for steering. The board still requires regular cleaning along with Watt&Sea.

Jon spent the morning getting our inverter to turn back on. It had been working fine since we worked on it back in the Falklands and started treating it a certain way (switches lined up a bit differently than we had sometimes done prior to that point). Yesterday, it again decided not to turn on. That meant Jon flipped numerous switches in different parts of the boat at first to no avail, then generating incremental progress after an hour or so, and finally in a sequence/pattern that made it all work normally again. No idea why it decides to work again or not, but it behaves like there is a capacitor that discharges when we've been off shore power for a long time that then needs to be recharged so the control boards respond as they should. If only it was a documented issue with a documented solution. But how many people install this big of a charger/inverter, stay unplugged from shore power for months at a time without running an AC generator, and only exercise their inverter once every few days? Boats.

The fishing line has remained stowed on board. Conditions remain a bit sporty with large waves. We will wait for calmer seas to put the line back in. We still have some leftover fish that will make a nice curry for dinner.

Day 19, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 10JUN22, Day 19, Ascension Island to Grenada. From a slow progress day to a big progress day, we continue on, heading in the right direction. Other than flying along it has been a quiet 24 hours.

Current Position: 10 04N / 046 47W
24 hour progress: 156nm, 6.5kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 2348nm, approximately 891nm to Grenada. We have been sailing a broad reach with 1 and then 2 reefs in the main. The genoa remains poled out.

Yesterday, the winds and seas built. We had a lot of sun as well. We did well on power thanks to solar, the wind generator and Jon's diligence in keeping W&S clear. This is now a lot of work with our high average speeds. The arm is difficult to put back in the water against the speed and boat wash. He is pulling hard on the block and tackle, and has now rigged the line around a winch.

We picked up speed with the building winds. Because we were sailing well with the genoa poled out, we have left the pole in place. We don't especially need it on this point of sail, but with big seas it keeps the sail from flogging and it allows us to turn deeper downwind at any point given large wind gusts or the wind shifting further astern.

The winds have been steady and constant between 20-25kts with higher gusts at times. We added a second reef to the main before sunset. It didn't do much to slow us down, but flattened out the ride a little. The winds should remain around this strength and potentially move further aft allowing us to sail deeper downwind. If the wind does shift, that should improve our ride and move the waves to be more following than off of our beam.

Today's weather is gray, dreary and hazy. A bit of sun is trying to burn through the clouds. Perhaps it will be successful, perhaps it will just be a gray day.

We rolled the ship's clocks back an hour to UTC -3 and will have one more time change to make.

The fishing line has remained stowed on board. We have a fish meal in the fridge and conditions are a bit sporty with the large waves. We will wait for calmer seas to put the line back in.

Day 18, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 09JUN22, Day 18, Ascension Island to Grenada. It was a day of slow progress, due to point of sail and lower winds than expected. However, things have been a bit more exciting on board. We caught 3 fish in the last 24 hours.

Current Position: 09 22N / 044 16W
24 hour progress: 108nm, 4.5kts avg SOG, almost 2 hours motor sailing. Overall progress for the passage is 2192nm, approximately 1046nm to Grenada. We sailed a broad reach yesterday with 1 and then 2 reefs in the main. We poled out the genoa for overnight downwind sailing and are back to a broad reach, recently shaking out a reef to now have 1 reef in the main.

Yesterday we had a lot of cloud cover and some significant rain showers. This meant the winds were less consistent again. The forecast suggested the winds would be building up, so we sailed conservatively staying on the genoa rather than putting up the asymmetric.

Soon after our log entry, we had a fish strike our cedar plug lure. We reeled in the line to check the lure. Part way in, we could see the lure was there and the fish was swimming next to it so the lure went back out with the fish following along. At this same time, we saw 2 dorados swimming near the boat, providing some entertainment. We checked the line / lure again after awhile, the fish was still with the lure, but this time the fish swam up under Zephyros. This fish was larger than the dorado and looked different. He parked himself under Zephyros' stern. He would show his tail and half his body at times. Jon found him entertaining while Megan and Daxton felt they were being mocked. Could we just gaffe him? Could we just grab him by the tail? What was he anyway? We were going quite slow, around 3.5kts, so he could swim wherever he wanted and effortlessly keep up with us all day long.

Our bird friends continued to fly around. If all of us gather at the back of the boat watching the water, they become very interested in what we are doing. Yesterday they were especially entertaining. They would fly up to the back of Zephyros, land in the water and stick their heads under water seemingly to try to figure out what was going on. Multiple birds did this over and over. They would sometimes start to lunge for the lure, but then quickly realize it was a lure and leave it alone. Fascinatingly entertaining.

We still had the fishing line in and continued to clear it of weed regularly. On one such occasion the line seemed like maybe there had been a strike and we pulled in the lure to find that our hook had broken off. Bummer. We still have our cedar plug, but it can no longer catch any fish! We will need to find a replacement hook, as we don't currently have the right type of hook on board. We switched back to our pink squid lure. He's a trusty favorite anyway.

After about 4 hours of the fish swimming at our stern and him still showing his tail occasionally, Megan and Daxton decided we should try to catch him. They decided to bring the squid lure to that side of the boat. Megan warned Daxton to hold on to the reel well in case he struck - not that she thought it would happen, but if it did, it would be a bit of sudden force and we didn't want our hand reel dropped into the water or to loose Daxton overboard. Daxton plopped the lure in beside the boat and let it out so that it started to drift back. Within seconds our fish darted out and was hooked on the line! We pulled out the gaffe and Jon quickly got him aboard. We had no idea what kind of fish he was and sent our texts and pictures to ask for help. His fins were a bit tuna like but his mouth was different and much larger than other tuna that we have caught. His flesh was white. (Kelper is guessing he was a black fin tuna from our very poor descriptions. Skylark reviewed our low quality picture and thought it was an albacore. Megan thought it might be a jack due to the mouth and white flesh. It tasted like a nice white fish and not like tuna, not even albacore. What do you think it was?)

Once the fish was aboard, killed and bled. Daxton set to filleting it with Jon's supervision. Megan looked out and saw storm clouds on the horizon. It definitely looked like we would get some serious rain. Megan wondered how Daxton would react and thought "this will be interesting." The first bit of gusty winds came over and we turned Zephyros further downwind and let out some sheet. Daxton kept filleting. Megan saw there was more rain cloud to come and went up to reef. (Normally Jon does the reefing, but we do try to switch jobs occasionally to keep us fresh and knowledgeable. When Megan does reef it is usually to shake out reefs not to put them in.) With Megan at the mast, a whole bunch of wind and rain arrived! Megan had mistakenly let out the first reefing line (as you would do to shake out a reef but not a great idea when adding a reef!) which meant even more sail went up and the water was just pouring from the sky. The main sail acts as a large rain catch so water was pouring out of the sail bag at the mast. Between the drenching rain and outpouring from the sail, Megan looked like she was enjoying one of the wettest amusement park rides ever envisioned. Megan got the reef in with some verbal help from Jon who helped flake the sail. It really was quite tame (minus the water) as we were well downwind and after the initial gusts the wind settled right down. It was a good learning / teaching experience. There was much laughter at the situation and pure volume of water - thankfully warm. It was a good appreciation / reminder for Megan to imagine how miserable it often was for Jon when it was cold water and cold rain in the southern high latitudes.

Jon and Megan came back to the cockpit completely drenched to find Daxton drenched and still filleting. He really is dedicated when he sets his mind to something! We got Ronan (who just hid in his room the whole time) to close up the last windows (a little late) and bring out some shower suds. Everyone but Ronan had nice outside showers with all the free water. Zephyros got a much needed wash down, clearing off lots of salt and mud.

Our power was quite low due to the lack of sun, speed and wind. Our boat speeds were low as well so we decided to turn on the engine for a couple of hours to recharge batteries and motor sail, bumping up boat speed a bit. By now it was dinner time, so we cooked up the fish with some quinoa and all enjoyed a large fish dinner with quite a bit left over for lunch today.

After dinner we decided to put out the pole for the genoa. The forecasts suggested the wind would build and we were sailing deep downwind to make a good course as it was. We got this all set up before dark and started into our nighttime watch routines.

Overnight the winds remained variable, but never really built. Occasionally there were some small storm cells with a few gusts and then low winds. Our speeds were low, but it was safe and comfortable sailing.

From early morning into daylight hours the point of sail has moved back up to a broad reach and our speeds are slightly improved. Today's challenge will be deciding how to finesse the sail configuration and point of sail. 15 min before log time, we shook out one reef from the main. We shall see what the day brings and if the winds build or not.

Jon put in the fishing line for his sunrise watch. Daxton came up soon thereafter and took over clearing the line of weed. He quickly got a bite. It was a smaller version of the fish we caught last night. He released that fish and put the line back in. At 0730 he had another fish strike and he landed a nice sized dorado. This one was a female; the other two previous catches were males. Daxton filleted this fish too, and now we have another fish meal next to the cold plate in the refrigerator. It seems our fishing mojo has (finally!) returned.

Day 17, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 08JUN22, Day 17, Ascension Island to Grenada. The winds were a bit lower, which was forecasted, so our speeds were a bit slower. This morning there have been rain clouds making the winds far more variable.

Current Position: 08 40N / 042 37W
24 hour progress: 129nm, 5.4kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 2084nm, approximately 1149nm to Grenada. We sailed a beam reach to a broad reach for the past 24 hours, adjusting reefs as needed. We are currently sailing with 1 reef in the main and a full genoa.

Yesterday we had a good bit of sun to go along with the haze and humidity. The winds were up and down. We shook out one reef from the main and later the second reef. By dinner time we put one reef back into the main and were back to a beam reach.

Overnight the winds continued to be up and down. Our speeds correspondingly were up and down. Our point of sail went from a beam reach to a broad reach and sometimes moved around within those points of sail. The seas settled but we continued to get a random wave here and there that would knock things over or out of hands in the galley. More spilled concentrated milk and spilled water dribbling into the refrigerator and bilge. It is a frustration to be sure.

From early morning into daylight hours there have been a number of rain clouds. This has meant even more variable winds. Our point of sail and sail trim have been changed to meet the conditions as we try to keep a good course to Grenada.

It's a bit of a gray morning. There are bits of blue in the sky and there is significantly less haze around, but there are also a lot of high level clouds. Perhaps the rains have washed some of the dust from the air or perhaps we are getting a break from it, at least for now.

Still no fishing luck. Jon and Daxton have diligently tried to keep the weed off of the line. And the clearing of W&S and the dagger board continued, as well, of course. It is a never ending job when there is so much sargassum weed.

There have been a few birds around. We believe they are a type of petrel, but aren't entirely sure. Our bird identification tools are in need of some internet! The Merlin Bird ID app still thinks we are in southern Chile. So the boys have to actively browse through their bird packs to try to ID birds and they aren't sure if they have all the correct packs downloaded. They are a medium sized, soaring, sea bird which makes a petrel a logical guess.

We continued to move well, in the right direction. Things remain pretty good.

Day 16, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 07JUN22, Day 16, Ascension Island to Grenada. The NE trade winds remained stronger than forecast pushing us steadily along towards our destination. Zephyros does love a reach in 20-25kts of wind.

Current Position: 07 54N / 040 37W
24 hour progress: 146nm, 6.1kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1955nm, approximately 1275nm to Grenada. We sailed a beam reach for the past 24 hours, adjusting reefs based on winds and weather helm. Currently sailing with 2 reefs in the main and a full genoa.

Yesterday continued to be overcast, hazy and humid. We got some solar power but not a lot. The skies were largely cloud covered overnight with only occasional stars visible, and always through a haze. Today the skies are clearer, but it is still a bit hazy. We are getting better solar power this morning.

Yesterday afternoon, we added a 2nd reef to the main and rolled out the reef from the genoa. We continued along making good speeds. Overnight as the winds built a reef was added to the genoa and towards morning it was rolled back out. Minor sail changes and tweaks kept us busy.

The ride is ok. Things are a bit difficult in the galley and we are heeled over a bit. The waves have built and are largely coming directly from the side so they occasionally roll us pretty well. The forecast suggests we will move the wind further aft of the beam which would help for comfort and wave angle. We shall see if / when this happens.

No luck today for our every other morning fishing success unfortunately. There is so much sargassum weed! It continues to be a constant job to keep the fishing line, W&S and our dagger boards free of the stuff. It really is indescribable how much of it there is out here. Line after line of it spread every 150ft or so running parallel to the wind. Occasionally we cross great mats of the stuff. We hate it, but one cannot help but to be impressed by it. It manages to grab all sorts of improbable surfaces. Once a small bit latches on, it rapidly collects every other bit it touches. The jagged edges of its leaves act like the most tenacious hook-and-loop material. The large masses of it host their own ecosystems teaming with krill, small crabs, and countless other small creatures. Fish find shade beneath.

Another nuisance to ponder about: the Saharan mud that keeps building on the outside of the boat. We are over 1500nm from the western most edges of the Sahara, yet we are accumulating its dust. A mixture of muddy, red salt is being deposited on every windward surface of Zephyros. Lines and rigging are all coated with it on one side. The windward sides of our mast, boom and sails are covered with it. Grab rails are coated with it on their windward side as are the windward facing cockpit seats. The solar panels, dry deck sections, and canvas are covered with it. It is inescapable. When you go out on deck, your hands and clothes become covered with it almost instantly owing to every surface you touch. Messy, but impressive. It is part of the world cycle depositing nutrient rich dust into the Amazon basin. It is in the air and is the haze we see all around us.

Not much else to report. We are moving well, in the right direction. Things are pretty good.

Day 15, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 06JUN22, Day 15, Ascension Island to Grenada. The NE trades seem to be well established this morning after some strange overnight conditions. We are now moving steadily along in the right direction and hoping the trend continues.

Current Position: 06 55N / 038 22W
24 hour progress: 130nm, 5.4kts avg SOG (24 hour progress significantly boosted by last 6 hours: 41nm, 6.8kts SOG), around 1 hour of engine time. Overall progress for the passage is 1809nm, approximately 1418nm to Grenada.

Yesterday we switched to the asymmetric right after log entry. The process always seems to take a bit of time. Our chute is pinching up on the torsion line so we have to work together as a team to get the whole sail out. It is a bit frustrating. We suspect we need some further adjustments to the torsion line (this is the non-twisting line that the sail is furled around that connects the sail to the bow of the boat while the other end is raised via a halyard). These adjustments won't likely be made at sea as they are probably too major to complete underway. We are brainstorming solutions and trying to figure out why it isn't quite working right. In the meantime, we seem to have a system that works, it's just a bit slow.

We sailed decently on the chute for the afternoon and creeped up to a beam reach for our course. This is fine in light air and relatively calm seas. It can require an active hand on the autopilot controls and concentration if the winds build, but it works very well as long as the winds stay light. By evening the winds were maybe, potentially, sort of, starting to build and an engaged brain and more active hand on Nike was required.

After our delicious fish dinner we decided that we should probably just secure the chute for the night. We are all anxious to start moving faster and it was difficult to put away a sail that was manageable and fine for the current conditions. However, we also knew that the NE trades should have already filled in so we expected the night would feature more wind and stronger conditions than we would like for that point of sail on the chute.

So the four of us set out to roll up and douse the asymmetric. It was another time consuming and tiring effort. (The sail is furled in with a continuous line system. Jon works hard on the reel to furl in the sail and it becomes exhausting work when we are trying to remove pinches in the sail). We had a bubble when we rolled up the sail so we wanted to re-furl it. That turned into an effort to clear another couple of pinches before we could properly roll it. So, again, the sun had set and we were working in dusk light with our deck light. Not ideal.

Things were sorted out soon enough and we were back on the full genoa and full main sailing a beam reach. Our speeds were slow and the wind dropped down again which continued to feel a bit frustrating. Safe for overnight sailing but frustrating nonetheless.

The winds gradually filled in and picked up in the late evening / early morning hours and we were moving ok again. Then things got interesting. It wasn't a good or bad interesting, it was just different. The winds were swinging between SE(!) and E, our course would go from direct to Grenada to almost N and back. The wind speeds went up to 20kts and fell to 10kts and moved around in between. It rained. It was dark. Megan was on watch and felt like she was playing a strange video game moving the course around based on the conditions and inputs. About an hour or so into this game, it was Jon's turn to stand watch. Megan left Jon's play on the edge of a hole, and in he fell with the winds dropping to less than 7kts before Megan even made it into bed. We bobbed and banged around for a little while and then Jon conceded the game and started the engine. An hour on the engine was enough to get us back into good winds and we were back to sailing a reach with full sails.

The morning saw the winds continue to build and fill in. A reef was added to the genoa and then to the main. Our speeds have really kicked up and we are moving well in the right direction. Yay! We are still taking a little extra north to try to make sure we stay in the trade winds for the rest of the sail.

Today's weather has been a bit hazy and quite humid. The sun is out, but visibility is rather low. A Taiwanese fishing vessel with a class B AIS and no size information passed about 4nm away and we could not get a visual contact on him. He had appeared on the AIS just 7nm ahead along our track. He carefully moved to be 4 nm wide of our track, then moved straight back toward his original position after we had passed. We assume he was small, but still we couldn't see him at a 4nm range when we knew where to look.

The fishing line is in, even though the conditions are a bit sporty for filleting, but so far no fish are interested anyway. As it is catching a lot of weed, it will soon come in.

Last night's rains cleared off some of the salt and dust on our deck, but our lines remain quite dirty with the Saharan dust.
The sargassum weed continues to keep us busy clearing W&S, the daggerboard and the fishing line as we continuously sail across it.

Our halfway party was pretty mellow. We opened a bag of dried cranberries. Which is Daxton's favorite treat (or one of his favorite treats). He dreams of Costco 5lb bags of Craisins (or whatever crazy large size those bags are). He wants industrial-sized caches of them on board so he can endlessly snack on them. So this small bag from the Falklands was saved for our halfway treat. A handful or so was proportioned out to each of us and has been devoured.

Day 14, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 05JUN22, Day 14, Ascension Island to Grenada. Two weeks at sea and we caught another fish! Weather is hot and sunny. The NE trades have arrived.

Current Position: 05 59N / 036 28W
24 hour progress: 120nm, 5.0kts avg SOG, around 1 hour of engine time. Overall progress for the passage is 1679nm, approximately 1540nm to Grenada.

Yesterday we started sailing again with good winds and making 5-6kts. Slowly our boat speed went away and we were creeping along around 3-4kts. Then the boat speed dropped below 3kts. Megan and Daxton took a look around and didn't see any reason to believe that the wind would change, so on went the engine. An hour of motoring seemed to be enough to get us back into the wind and to find some rain clouds. Off went the engine and we were back to sailing a close reach with full sails.

As we approached the rain clouds, we added a reef to the main. Then once clear of the cell and with winds a bit lower again, we shook it back out. Then a bit later, we put it back in for dinner preparations and overnight sailing. We were gliding along over fairly calm seas. The wind has moved a bit more easterly allowing us to move to a beam reach and now to a broad reach.

The night was star filled and beautiful. The temperatures are much nicer at night and it feels great to just sit outside and stargaze. Our speeds were up and down with the wind.

This morning saw us shaking out the reef in the main to try to boost speeds. The fishing line went back in as well. 0730-0800 seems to be our lucky time slot! We didn't have the line in yesterday morning, though we did keep it in later in the evening to no avail. It was largely an exercise in futile frustration as the line was continually fouling with sargassum weed. However, Jon's morning watch where he has the line in early seems to be a solid strategy even if it means an hour or so of intense focus on keeping the line clean. Todays fish was hooked right after the line went back in following a retrieval for cleaning. This was a slightly smaller dorado than the last, so we expect it is a 1 or 1.5 meal fish (for 4 hungry sailors) so we'll have fish for dinner!

We are back to sailing a bit slow so we will set the asymmetric after log entry. It's a bit frustrating as we are all ready to pick up some speed again. Hopefully speeds will get more consistent as the trades fill in a bit more.

Nike continued to behave. The Iridium Go!continued to be annoyed at the heat (it's in good company) and stopped charging. It's working, but needs some monitoring and more shade. If we stop broadcasting our position for a few hours that is probably why.

The NE trades seem to have brought in some desert dust. Zephyros is covered in a layer of orange Saharan dust on all her windward or flat surfaces. We are now hoping for a rain wash down—but one strong enough to clean us, not just to make us a muddy mess!

The sargassum weed is a bit less today. Yesterday it passed by in large patches, often with plastic garbage - coat hanger, water bottles, flip flops, buckets, bottle caps, etc - trapped in the midst of these large swaths.

We are all hot, but in good spirits. We worked on taking some extra naps yesterday to combat some serious fatigue that had been setting in. We all feel better today.

We will hit the halfway mark shortly! (Great circle route halfway point is 1535nm.) There will be a little halfway party. We hope we can make the second half of this passage a bit faster than the first. It should be possible, but time will tell. We will take whatever we get and we will get there when we get there.

Day 13, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 04JUN22, Day 13, Ascension Island to Grenada. We are back to sailing (for now). The weather is back to sunny and hot, after a night of dark and stormy weather, sometimes with quite a bit of wind from unexpected directions.

Current Position: 05 07N / 034 40W
24 hour progress: 110nm, 4.6kts avg SOG, just over 19 hours of engine time. Overall progress for the passage is 1559nm, approximately 1660nm to Grenada.

Yesterday we sailed for a couple of hours after the log entry. We did about all we could do to keep sailing. Eventually we just couldn't keep the chute full. So we rolled up and doused the asymmetric and put some lines dotted with fenders in the water. We turned off Nike and just drifted silently along while we all went swimming. The water was so warm and felt very refreshing! The weather was warm and sunny; it was a perfect spot and time to take a little swim. The water was only some 3000 meters deep!

After we wrapped up swim call we turned on the engine and took showers. We made water and motored on into the no wind zone of the ITCZ. Also in this area were gray clouds and dreary surroundings. Almost spooky with flat gray seas, cloudy gray skies. 1000 shades of gray. We were happy we had gone swimming in the sunny weather.

We enjoyed our fish tacos for dinner and saw even drearier weather ahead. Definitely rain clouds and probably some lightning. As night fell the radar came on and we tried to head for the opening between two cells. We unplugged electronics and hoped that the lightning would stay away.

It turned out to only be an issue for the first few of hours of night watch. We uneventfully passed between a couple of storms, and by midnight there was no more lightning or storms on the radar. It was simply a dark, wet night and we were all quite tired. It has been difficult to sleep well in the heat.

The winds were all over the place. Sometimes 20kts on the nose! Sometimes 10 or more from the south or west or north. Sometimes dead. Definitely not yet the NE trade winds that we expected to find on the other side of the ITCZ.

In the early morning, with the storm cells passed, we did some laundry. Then the winds finally moved to the NE and filled in a little. Off went the engine and we were back to sailing, and needing to make a little water again. Hahahaha

Nike continued to give us the "sensor missing" error yesterday, but has been behaving since we turned on the engine. Jon has tried to do some wire troubleshooting, but we really don't know what or where the fault lies.

Morale is high aboard. We had a great day yesterday with fish and a swim. Now we are happy that the engine is off and looking forward to hopefully having a good sail the rest of the way to Grenada!

Day 12, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 03JUN22, Day 12, Ascension Island to Grenada. We are still sailing (for now). The next 36 hours should see us across the ITCZ so any portion we can continue to sail above about 3kts, we will take! One forecast suggests we might be able to sail it all, but really they all look like we will need to motor for 12-24 hours at least, maybe more.

Current Position: 03 55N / 033 20W
24 hour progress: 112nm, 4.7kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1449nm, approximately 1758nm to Grenada. We sailed a broad reach for the past 24 hour period. First on the genoa and then on the asymmetric. All with the full main up.

Yesterday, after the log/blog entry and around midday, we caught a durado, but sadly we were unable to get the fish aboard. We didn't even get it alongside. What a morale crusher. From being excited that lunch arrived right at lunch time to needing to make something else instead.

The winds continued to be stronger than forecast. We continue to hope that engine start time remains some time away. Yesterday evening, after dinner and around sunset, we put up the asymmetric. We kept sailing a broad reach, so we left all of the main up and took whatever course we could get sailing with the chute and full main. We had a touch more north to our course than we wanted, but our speeds were decent and the engine remained off.

The cloud cover burned off shortly after yesterday's log entry so we did get some solar power for the day. And it is sunny this morning for more solar. Solar is now our strongest source of power thanks to all the sargassum weed. The Watt&Sea doesn't turn well when there is weed on the prop. It is a constant job of clearing weed from the W&S, the centerboard and the dagger boards. Downwind means less wind through the wind generator. So Solar is where we get power these days.

And speaking of power, Nike is sucking down power. She is back to giving us a "sensor missing" error and occasionally making lots of rudder inputs. All this means that she is power hungry and we are struggling to feed her (and the refrigerator). When the engine comes on, power will go back up and chores will be tackled.

This morning, we caught (and landed) a dorado! Megan was sleeping and the whole boat was rallied to assist with the "Fish On!" call. It was 0730am on Zephyros, so a bit early for meals unless someone wanted sushi for breakfast. Jon and Daxton got the fish aboard and Daxton got a lesson in filleting. Megan prepped ceviche to rest in the fridge until lunch time and Ronan babysat Nike and the "sensor missing" error that needed to be acknowledged and steerage reset to a broad reach.

Morale has definitely rebounded with today's fishing success right on the heels of yesterday's disappointment. Ceviche for lunch and fish tacos for dinner! All great news as our fresh meat supply is dwindling away. (Note for the photo, it is HOT. Daxton is in long pants and long sleeves to shield himself from the sun; he seems to be breaking out if he gets too much sun. The outfit is not indicative of cooler weather!!!)

Day 11, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 02JUN22, Day 11, Ascension Island to Grenada. We are still moving well. We are watching weather forecasts closely and generally happy with our progress. The winds have moved around a bit, but remain around 15kts +/-5kts. The current seems to have FINALLY stopped hindering our progress.

Current Position: 02 17N / 032 30W
24 hour progress: 128nm, 5.3kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1337nm, approximately 1837nm to Grenada. We shook out reefs throughout the afternoon and sailed a reach. Our reach moved from a broad reach to a beam reach and back to a broad reach. We poled out the genoa for a couple of hours of downwind sailing this morning, then stowed the pole and returned to a beam reach; all done to maintain the same course.

The winds have been a bit shifty, changing directions just enough to keep us busy. We have adjusted sails to compensate and continue our NW track. We have continued to enjoy more winds than forecast. This is really good for us as we keep making progress across an area that will become the doldrums at a rate slightly better than our weather routing software suggested we would. We continue to hope that engine start time remains a day or two away. It is our current challenge and we spend a lot of time thinking about it, watching it and contingency planning. It will work out, but this blog is about what happens on board and this is our current, most pressing "happening" obsession.

Yesterday, around midday, we had a drink with Poseidon (the Greek god of the sea and not our male cat), some Navy strength gin for Poseidon, G&Ts for the adults and a delicious mocktail for the boys. Daxton is quite the mocktail mixologist these days. We also enjoyed some special rum raisin chocolate. Later in the afternoon, Megan cut Jon's hair and outside showers were enjoyed in an attempt to cool off.

The cloud cover returned over night, and the humidity rose. So far no rain though the boat is a bit salty and could use a rinse off. That will surely come, so for now we are just happy with the overcast. It isn't great for solar power, but it is slightly less oppressive for the heat.

Nothing else too exciting aboard. Nike seems to be fine. We rolled the ship's clocks back an hour again to UTC -2. We are all a bit tired, likely due to the heat, and a bit grumpy with each other. Still no fish. More lines of sargassum weed today. Megan & Daxton will finish their 10 day wellness challenge and will have to decide if they continue or take a rest day.

Day 10, Ascension Island to Grenada

1300Z 01JUN22, Day 10, Ascension Island to Grenada. Back in the Northern Realm! We crossed the equator, uneventfully at 0714Z which was 0 dark 14 in the morning, local time. Megan was on watch and quietly requested entry to the realm. Poseidon granted return to his trusty shellbacks and we will pay him some additional thanks this afternoon.

Current Position: 00 28N(!) / 031 27W
24 hour progress: 124nm, 5.2kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1209nm, approximately 1935nm to Grenada. We continue sailing a reach with 1-2 reefs in the main and genoa from full to 2 reefs, and back to full.

We have made steady progress. Not exactly direct, but as we stated yesterday, we are going more northerly in order to cross the doldrums before the no wind area expands. We made good progress to that end and have had more winds than forecast. So maybe we can sail across or at least limit our engine time. It appears that it will be a lot more beneficial to turn on the engine and scoot across if / when the winds die then to sail too slowly as the gap just widens and we will have to wait longer or motor longer. We remain hopeful that our plan will work out as intended.

We have had good solar, good wind and good hydro power so have been topping up water tanks and even doing a little laundry. The watermaker has definitely been a passage game changer. Especially for these long passages, but also while we stopped in St Helena and Ascension. We didn't have to worry about how to top up water or carry water jugs. So it has definitely been a worthwhile upgrade!

We tried our hand at fishing again yesterday with a new silver lure. It sits on the surface and acts like a struggling fish and even gives flashes like a fish does. It looks convincing to our people eyes and we had been hopeful that it would work. We were sitting in the shade and breeze in the cockpit when we heard the line go. Then we looked to see if there was a fish. Interestingly no fish and no sign of our lure either. We pulled the line in to discover that our swivel attaching the leader had broken off—the steel wire clasp was gone. Bummer. Our new shiny lure is now a badge of honor in Poseidon's Southern realm. Clearly it was a very BIG fish and it gets bigger every time Jon tells the tale. We are at something like 800lbs now. We replaced our swivel and switched to a silver squid lure. It wasn't quick, but we got a line back in the water. Daxton had high hopes of us catching the same fish with the lure in its mouth. But no such luck. We will have to hope that Kelper catches it when they pass through!

In the evening we put a second reef into the main to ease dinner preparations and for more comfortable overnight sailing. It turned out to be the right call as the winds soon started to build. We finessed the course and speed. We dealt with gusts by adding and removing reefs in the genoa as needed.

In the early morning our autopilot had a strange hiccup. There seems to be a loose wire or sporadic input. Megan was on watch and heard an unfamiliar beeping that she went to investigate. Then the boat gently turned 180 degrees. When Megan went to correct Nike (autopilot), she was unresponsive; so she was rebooted. Jon came up and we worked together to release the back winded genoa, regain speed and steerage and tack back to course. After that a keen eye was kept on Nike. We did get a couple of "missing sensor" errors, but it didn't say which sensor was "missing" and when we cleared the error all inputs were seemingly there. We are now babysitting Nike closely as she has tested our trust a bit; but we are also saying nice, encouraging words as we have a long way to go and don't want to hand steer the rest of the way. So far it all seems to be back to normal. Maybe she was hot and bothered too, or maybe she just wanted to stay in the Southern Realm.

Shortly after the fun with Nike, Megan was back to solo, early morning watch standing as we crossed over the equator. It was uneventful and we sailed easily across the great line.

We have seen a decent amount of shipping. Lots of ships with interesting names - Baby Cassiopeia, Premio de Brasil, Ultra Cougar, Bow Chain. Clearly we are running across the Brazil to Europe shipping lanes, as expected. AIS makes this easy and the closest ship was Premio de Brasil last night. She passed about 3nm astern and we had good visibility to her in the dark.

Nothing else too exciting aboard. A small party and toast to Poseidon is planned for midday activities as there were no wogs this passage. Maybe drinking some Navy strength gin with Poseidon (the Greek god, not our cat!) will turn our fishing luck around?