Dawn broke to find Vela, making her way steadily at 6 knots under easy sail and motor. The wind, which had been slowly dying the night before, had reduced to a gentle breeze. A lazy swell was rolling in from the South, promising clear skies and warmer weather. It has been a welcome change from chilly Bermuda to return to the endless summer of the Caribbean. We have been able to sail almost all of the 3,000 NMS we have covered so far but, as we cross through a high-pressure system sitting above the island chain, we will need to spend the next couple of days motoring to windward. Hopefully, we should pick up the Trade winds at around 23 N, turn off the engine, and have the wind on the beam for the final run into Saba.
The light winds and calm sea brought the opportunity to drop sail and have one of the strangest experiences on a passage, swimming in the middle of the ocean. There is an uncomfortable feeling when you dive into the water and away from the boat, going against every instinct and piece of advice to always keep your feet on the deck. You open your eyes under the water and see blackness five kilometers down, the only shape the hull of the ship suddenly small in a vast blue room. It was lucky we did stop as what we at first thought might be a large squid turned out to be a fishing net wrapped around the propellor shaft. Calum dove down to free it, and we raised the sails again just as the sun went down red against the horizon. Today feels like the calm center before we return to land, and that entails a moment of peace with only 20 days of the trip left. If given a choice, I will always prefer to be far from land with good shipmates and nothing to worry about but the wind and waves.
Photo 1 – Mads, Mack, Wax, Sonnet, Chuck, Val overboard
Photo 2 – Tony in the blue room
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