Day 14: 22 November 2016
The rain and crazy wind shifts from the previous night continued into the morning of Day 14. The trend in the weather (comical for some, less so for others) was for Eric’s night watch to get the squalls, and Robyn’s night watch to get the settled weather. This finally changed! As Robyn came on watch at 10 AM, the weather decided to throw her more confused wind patterns, and plenty of rain.
The prevailing Easterly winds turned to come from the South, and then the Southwest. With our downwind running sails up, we were forced to follow the wind shift, and, for a while, we were sailing back towards Cape Verde! We released the spinnaker pole from the genoa, hoisted the mainsail, gybed over, sheeted in and began to close-reach back towards the Northeast – and fortunately in the general direction of Barbados!
Along with the crazy wind shifts came the rain. Buckets-full dumped on the deck and on the crew (Robyn and Angela). There was enough rain (freshwater shall not be wasted!) that the shampoo came out and the crew took advantage of the plentiful, and rather warm, rain.
While most of the passage had been text-book perfect, we had the distinct feeling that the ocean was going to make us work for our safe arrival to Barbados. We were up for the challenge and worked together to get the boat moving away from the squall line and back towards clearer skies and more consistent winds. It took us several hours to work our way out of the rain and fluky winds, but finally we found the trade winds again and started to make good tracks towards Barbados.
With less than 200 miles remaining, the kids started a massive home-schooling-cram-session. They decided that they wanted to finish all of their November work before they arrived in Barbados, so that they could have the remainder of the month to explore the island. This meant that they would need to do double-quantities each day. They really pulled together, focused (most of the challenge of our homeschooling) and got to work!
The daily run was 123 miles. We anticipate arriving in Barbados mid-day on Thursday, 24 November. Barbados is on the same time zone as Halifax, Nova Scotia (1 hour later than US Eastern Time).