Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Tropics

Since turning south, we have had building winds as Moonshadow entered the trade winds belt. North of the trades the wind was lighter and the seas flatter, but yesterday we transitioned into the easterly trades with 6-8 foot beam seas and winds in the mid twenties which makes the going faster, but the ride a bit more challenging. Last night we saw winds approaching 30 so we put a reef in the main and still later took it down entirely sailing under genoa alone and still doing 9.5 - 10.5 knots. We are learning that Moonshadow likes to sail more upright and in these conditions reducing sail improves our speed.

At this moment we are watching the distance remaining cross from 400 to 399 miles...two or two and a half days to go. We have celebrated the date phenomenon of 12-12-12 and now look forward to awarding the winner of the contest we have going to guess the time we cross the Tropic of Cancer. Ed is looking to be the favorite with his guess of 1000 hrs. John's guess is 1135, Deb is 1212 (in honor of the date) and Alli's guess is 1400 hrs. The winner gets to open a mystery grab bag of items donated by the contestants. Should be fun.

While the gin rummy game is an ongoing event, the current leader is insisting the blog make mention of the fact she is ahead. Ok, fine, Alli is kicking our collective butts but it ain't over yet!

We are witnessing first hand how hard a passage can be on a boat as the list of things that will need to be fixed upon arrival continues to grow. The most pressing item is the refrigerator motor which will need to be rebuilt or replaced. That one would have been much easier in the US, but at least we'll be in a nice climate while dealing with Moonshadow's casualties. Deb is devastated that her iPad is on the list of passage casualties. Evidently it was in the direct path of a flying object during the heavy rolling in beam seas last night. Deb loves her iPad and the routine (when not on passage) of reading the Union Tribune, Facebook and email in the mornings. We are all hoping her pictures can be recovered and restored to a new iPad, when we make landfall.

Moonshadow's fishing triumphs continue, however instead of hooking a fish on the line and dragging it behind Moonshadow for who knows how long, now we just let the fish jump aboard the boat. We have had several direct hits to the windows in the cockpit dodger by flying fish as well as others found on deck each morning.

Deb's galley continues to dispense one terrific meal after another and the crew is very much appreciating it. We are all looking forward to arriving in Antigua, going for a swim and walking upright.

Cheers from Moonshadow!

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