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Apsara: Messages From The Boat:

Apsara and the Atlantic

November 30, 2003     18:25 GMT  
18.05N; 34.01W  

It is evening time and we are just settling in after dinner and after a great day of downwind sailing. We have covered over 1400 miles since departing Gran Canaria, and we estimate that we will reach the half-way mark sometime tomorrow evening.

Today the wind is 14-20 knots from ESE. The swells have been bigger today, so we are swaying all day and night from left to right. It requires some timing to move around down below, which makes for some ridiculous looking movements, I'm sure! But we are happily surfing along and grateful that the seas and the winds are behind us! We are sailing "wing-on-wing" with the mainsail on one side and the jib poled out on the other side. We also have the smaller staysail up to steady the side to side rolling.

With the autopilot still out of commission, the good news is that we are all becoming better at the helm! Today a contest ensued for the deepest angle downwind and the fastest "distance made good" during a 30 minute period (this means that the helmsperson had to be sailing in the right direction ;-)). I believe Scott won the honors for the deepest angle, and I was fortunate to hit top speed this morning (without spinnaker) of 12.3 knots. We think we have covered just under 200 miles in the past 24 hours. And the wind direction kindly gave us the opportunity to make more direct westerly progress.

The ARC forecast indicates that we may hit some heavy squalls over the next few days, so we are watching the weather very carefully.

We have yet to catch a fish. Although, we have donated a few lures and weights to the ocean!

That is all for now, we just wanted to let you all know we are doing well, having a good time, and slowly making our way toward St. Lucia.

All the best from Apsara and her crew!

s/v Apsara

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