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Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 11, 2012-First Day at Sea.

For the first five hours we struggled to keep moving. First no wind and we motored, then a little wind in which we tried sailing, and which then promptly died, and then we motored again in lumpy seas. The motion gets us all on the first day at sea, and with those waves none of us were happy. We're miserable and we are cold. Yes, that refrain again. It is still cold.

Around dinnertime the wind filled in from the SE and the skies cleared. Again we set sail. The wind built. Even in the irregular waves we were going fast. That was good. By midnight the wind was in the mid twenties and we took down the genoa.

From midnight to noon today day we covered 91 miles, an astonishing rate. That felt good.

And, while the air is still cool, the water must be warmer, since the refrigerator is now running close to constantly, a sure sign of warmer water. But still, we dress warmly when we go on deck.

And there are those waves. We are getting tossed around pretty good and the deck is wet. You watch where you sit. But at least we are moving.

I needed to change the internal battery in the B&G system and had bought new batteries the last hour before we left Walvis Bay. To change the battery I had to disassemble the control unit. But when I put the new battery in and reassembled the unit it wouldn't work. And when it doesn't work you have no instruments. No instruments! I was devastated by the thought of no instruments. Soon I had circuit boards and soldering irons and wires all over the cabin and for two hours I fooled around with it. I put in the boards from my spare units. I soldered connections. I put the old battery back in. Nothing worked and nothing was consistent. There was cold fear in my heart about having no instruments for this whole passage. Then the instrument gods decided enough was enough, and when I reassembled it one last time they let it work again. Now it is perfect and I have vowed not to touch the thing until Brazil. What a close call.

But with the sea conditions, the cold, and the instrument problem it was not an auspicious start. Oh, did I mention Randy and I are both feeling sick? We are.

But today is the second day. The sun came out. The sky is blue. The waves are down and so is the wind strength. So we are optimistic.

One thousand miles to St Helena.

Fred & Judy (and Randy and Laura), SV Wings, On passage in the Atlantic.

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