Thursday, May 23, 2019

Better Sailing

May 23
20.7N 85.2W

We're sailing better now. Winds are blowing a bit stronger and have shifted northward, close to ENE which allows us to sail our course at a tighter, faster wind angle. The seas are less confused, moderate swells from mostly behind us, with a longer period. More surfing, less yawing.

Our noon-to-noon run was 114 nm, an average speed of 4.8 knots. We're going a bit faster than that now, just over five knots on average I reckon. If we keep this speed up, we should arrive at Isla Mujeres about the 0600 tomorrow morning.

Our course is almost due west, which has created another slight problem for us. The sails shade the solar panels from noon onwards, drastically reducing how much power we generate from the sun. We're having to run the engines for a few hours everyday to make up the shortfall. If it's not one thing, it's another.

I haven't mentioned that we are sailing this passage doublehanded, just Roy and me. Josh left the boat for personal reasons and flew back home from Grand Cayman. Very sorry to see him go; he's a very good sailor and good company on board. And now we get less sleep. Roy and I are going on and off our watches like clockwork, trying to get as much sleep time in as possible, which means very little conversation other than pleasantries and briefings on what's going on with the boat. It's not a bad situation at all, but I have come to enjoy sailing three-up, especially on passages of more than a few days.

Looking at the chartplotter and our track since leaving Panama, it is hard to believe that Leg 4 of The Voyage will soon be over. I always figured this to be the most difficult of all the legs, but it is turning out to be one of the easiest and certainly the best sailing since coming down the California coast.