Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening we are talking with our French friend Patrice on s/y Alter of Toulon on the VHF. Its an Ovni 43. He is a solo sailor. We are exchanging positions and some small talk. What we have been having for dinner. The wind and the waves and the forecasts. On the menu for today was pasta with ham, garlic, olive oil, egg, parsley and cream.
Patrice is ahead of us and slowly advancing away from us with full sail wardrobe, while we are only flying the genoa. The weather reports we are getting from Paul in Scotland are looking good and promising for the rest of the crossing, which actually is between two continents, Asia and Africa. It is still a long way to go. We are low risk takers and trying to keep a reasonable good speed without pushing the boat and gear. If the wind drops too much, we will hoist the mainsail to add more power. The genoa is quite big, and if the wind is coming too much from behind, the mainsail is killing the wind that hits the genoa and making it flapping. Running into the night with too much sail area is also a risk. Because the wind is gusty, and if the boat is overpowered, it starts running into the wind with flapping sails. If so, you may be quite sure to finding a darker cloud around the boat. Because some stronger winds are expected in a couple of days, we have positioned the boat a bit to the south of the rhumb line, so that we are prepared to bear off slightly if necessary.
During the days we are living under the bimini roof in the cockpit. At least when the weather is nice and spray rarely is thrown up against us. Irene, the Gnisten, is working with knitting or with the hook, or reading electronic books on her cellphone. The skipper is reading too, doing some small talk. Or just studying the changing skies, the pattern of the waves or the colours. In the rather rounded clouds of the trade winds, there is a world of recognizable forms and shapes. Like cartoon figures, monsters, trolls, human profiles and shapes, torsos and animals. In the morning you will collect the nights catch of flying fish on the decks. Up to 30 one morning. Mostly quite small. There is no moon, making our nights quite dark, but the sparkling stars above us are giving a scarce backlighting during the night watches. Further on we will have the benefit of the rising moon. There are still 10 to 12 days to go if the winds are good.
We rarely see any marine traffic. We saw the lights from a Chinese freighter to the south last night. The AIS is giving us more details.
In front of us we have the Joshua and Alter, behind us the Maria, Elsa and Sabir. All heading for Rodrigues which to us lies 1584 nautical miles ahead of us at 02hrs, Wednesday 20.th of September.