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.

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