Day 7: 15 November 2016
In many ways, Day 7 was much like Day 6, and Day 5, and Day 4. We had a consistent 12 knots of wind from the East and we sailed at about 5-6 knots towards Barbados. We were visited by a swallow that circled our boat many times, eyed the squid lure we were towing, and then took off towards distant horizons.
We encountered several patches of unusually choppy water. The typical sea conditions in 12 knots of wind are fairly consistent waves and very few breaking white caps. However, on several occasions, we passed through areas that had shorter waves with about 30-50% of them breaking as white caps. These patches were approximately 1 km wide. They were very broadly spaced and, from what we could tell, not periodic. We only passed through about 3 or 4 during the course of the day. Because our knot log (paddlewheel speed sensor) has been jammed stuck since leaving Mindelo, we were only able to get our speed as SOG from the GPS. Therefore, we were unable to measure the difference between the knot log and SOG to determine if these were different ocean currents. You can imagine the frustration for the physical oceanographer onboard! Perhaps some colleagues will be able to provide an idea of what was causing this phenomena.
Eliana enjoyed a juicy orange for a snack. This might sound like a trivial detail, but it was a major activity for her, and a sincere highlight of our day. She spent about an hour devouring the orange. Sitting on the cockpit floor, with a plate and several towels below her, she separated each section of the orange and, systematically, ate every morsel of the orange, leaving not a bit of juice or pulp go to waste. She loved every second of the experience, and we loved cleaning up the sticky mess that followed!
We crossed another major milestone today — logging a total of 5000 miles below Laridae’s keel since we purchased her in Guernsey, Channel Islands, in July 2015.
With the moon rising a little after sunset, we were privileged to have some skies dark enough to see the numerous stars. During night watch, Eric saw a brilliant shooting star. It looked like a green comet falling to earth. The bulbous front of the shooting star, and symmetrical left and right sides of the streaming tail, light up the sky for a solid two seconds. After the green glow subsided, the smokey trail remained visible in the ambient starlight.
We logged a total of 133 miles towards Barbados in the calmer wind and sea.