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Wind at Last – Dodge Well Ahead

As we hit noon on the 5th day, it looks like I might have one more light wind day after good winds today before I get the trade winds which are steady and reliable, used by the sailing ships of old (hence trade winds). At this point the “ghost” of Dodge Morgan on his Ted Hood designed “American Promise” is SW of me and 150 miles ahead, to where we will both turn around the east coast of Brazil and head towards the South  Atlantic. Despite all the adversity and maddening shortage of winds, my routing service is pleased with my position as had I taken the fastest route, given the winds, I would have been forced  too far south and into adverse water currents.

Life on board is settling into a routine. At first light, I check the horizon, then a look at the sails, walk around the deck to look for chafing of lines, which can happen very fast, loose fittings and the condition and trim of the sails. Then its breakfast, cereal and coffee, while I consult the print out of the four day weather forecast and plan the day including jobs. This morning it was to change from the light wind Code Zero, 1,900 square feet down to the genoa at 1,335 square feet. And those are not my biggest sails, the A2 (Asymmetrical Spinnaker) is 3,000 square feet – as big as many homes. To launch these sails takes a good deal of planning and work. Took 90 minutes to launch the Code Zero from its sail locker, after which I needed a rest.

The morning then is reading and writing. The early afternoon is a nap – but again no more than 30-45 minutes and sail trimming is necessary. Then its cocktail hour at 5:00pm. Dinner, and then I start my naps.

What is good about sailing west to east is that every 15 degrees of longitude I get to move the clock an hour ahead. Not fast enough to cause jet lag, but I get 24 of them in a circumnavigation and on those days cocktail hour comes an hour earlier! Great! My dad had two rules about drinking, which I like to respect. First, as a rule, don’t drink before 5:00pm. OK, Dad I got that one, but it’s the second rule that troubles me. “Son, don’t drink alone!” Oops – sorry Dad.

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