With 1536 NM to go, we are nearing our halfway point, which puts us ahead of our scheduled 19 days at sea. Winds have been steady 15-20 since Day 3, and we’ve been running before the wind flying just our North Sails “Helix,” which is a large, light sail resembling a cruising spinnaker. We put away the mainsail, because running this deep downwind, it blocked the Helix’s wind and did not help boat speed. The yacht rolls gently, but sometimes severely, as it surfs down the following 2-3 meter waves. We sleep with our arms spread out, like, as Travis noted, chalk outlines of victims police draw at crime scenes. This keeps us from rolling around in our bunks.
For those who don’t sail, this trip probably sounds like hell on earth, but once one gets into the routine, it is delightful. The weather is balmy, 75-80F in the daytime, and cooler at night. The Southern Cross constellation appeared two nights ago amid an incredible array of celestial bodies. The North Star is now below our horizon, but we can still see the Big Dipper. This far offshore, stars are visible almost to the horizon until the moon, which is currently waning, rises in the east.
Most of us have read 2-3 books by now, and we’ve enjoyed each other’s company immensely. With so much free time between watches, the guy on deck usually gets plenty of company from the off watch crew.
Having consumed much of the food packing our refrigerators, we are actively fishing, but so far only landed a small mahi-mahi, which we gently returned to the deep. With an hour between now and dinner, I’m hoping for yellowfin tuna sashimi as an appetizer, but thus far, fish are ignoring my lure. Fortunately, our freezer remains replete with entrees, including salmon fillets, chicken breasts, and meat balls, with plenty of rice, pasta, and potatoes in dry storage. Unlike our last voyage aboard “Nor’easter,” where we had no freezer, fishing on “EXcape” is recreation, not survival.