Like a horse coming home to the barn, Visions of Johanna is steaming towards the Caicos Passage, our entry gate into the Bahamas. While the wind is blowing fairly hard, it is from the east off our stern quarter, and can be mitigated and contained by carefully choosing the amount of sail we are flying. The wind has increased from 14-15 knots through the night to 18 knots steady right now. We brought down our lighter weight reaching sail (meant for down wind sailing, but with lesser winds) and now fly the 103% jib - with no change in boat speed, but on a more tamed animal. The sail change occurred at change of watch, as six hands are better than two.
Right now we are 475 nm from our waypoint at Caicos Passage, making 9-10 knots with our east wind of 18-20 knots. This is pretty much what I will expect throughout the day,and pretty much what I will expect over the next 36 hours. We started last night with a reef in the main, but then shook it out as we were a tad underpowered with winds in the 15 kn range. Our next move, if wind and seas build, will be to put back that reef.
The seas are slowly building with the consistent winds. They are 3-6 feet and we are rolling a bit with the wind on the quarter, but they are also regular and pleasantly shaped. In general they are smooth and rounded, and are not developing the squared off charactor that creates a jarring motion. I do think they will continue to build some, though.
The crew has settled in to a nice routine. There is plenty of conversation, good books being read, and enjoyment of being out here, so intimately connected to the elements. It is fair to say that everyone has enjoyed themselves to this point.
I can see one problem brewing however, in that I am running low on the crew's favorite libation. This vessel was stocked with the finest of victuals and elixers, acknowleging that satisfying food and drink make for a happy and well behaved crew. Well, I underestimated their nearly insatiable demand for this mother of all liquids and I am beginning to sense an uncomfortable undercurent of side talk and conversations about how much is left and "where is it stored?". Mind you, before we departed Newport, I made sure that we were well stocked with gallons upon gallons of this most desirable drink, but I never thought that a crew of grown men would choose milk as there beverage of choice - party animals that they are. So here stand I, watching our dwindling supply, with concern about the possibility of "the milk mutiny". Well, to that I say "let them drink water!
Note to self: Purchase milk, anchovies, and pickles at our next stop.
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