Temptress Does the Atlantic – Day 10

Friday 21st Feb – noon to noon run 163 nm

Can't believe time has gone so fast. Temptress still needs to gybe to reach

her destination but now we are throwing into the navigation mix other

parameters; we need to arrive in day light with the sun lower in the sky,

preferably mornings so that we can

a) find our way through the reef strewn channel into St Davids Harbour

b) arrive when immigration and customs are open: Monday – Thursday

8:00 -16:00 '

At present it looks likely that we'll time our arrival for Wednesday morning

unless Temptress has a dramatic increase in speed/improvement in course made

to average over 8 knots at about 280 deg magnetic. Early morning today we

had 775nm to go as the crow flies, but the wind permits best angle of 255 on

this gybe and about 6.5 to 7 knots.We still have the same sail plan as we've

had for days – 3rd reef in main and a scrap of jib (varying amounts

depending on wind strength). It seems very well balanced and George the

autopilot copes even with the oddest of wave patterns. Sometimes the big

swells seem to align with the local wind blown waves and send Temptress

madly swaying in a big surf at other time waves at right angles to the main

trend thump against the port side often sending spray into the air to be

blown on deck. The wind continues at F4-6 mainly easterly but sometimes a

little more south.

Last night was warm and dry, finally no oilies. After breakfast of stewed

fruit and yoghurt we gybed onto 290, still can't point directly at our

destination. Then whilst Joe was below busy buttering Bimbo Thins for lunch,

Kevin looked across the cockpit and spotted a huge brown shape in the swell

behind us which rapidly approached to became the swell under Temptress. No

idea who was more surprised and shocked us or the whale, it dived under the

boat just feet from our stern and disappeared phew! The rest of the day

passed as most have with snoozing, reading or chatting by turns.I hand

stitched a canvas bag/ cover for the fishing reel so we don't have to take

it off the rail whilst in harbours where petty crime is rife. It should also

serve to keep the UV off the line when it is not in use. In the evening the

largest kamikaze flying fish yet, about 15 cm long plus tail, landed on the

deck aft of the winch whilst we were furling up some jib. It lived to swim

another day as I tipped it over the side back into its element.

All well on board and still enjoying the sailing and each other's company