17:00 UTC 21/11/08 32'08N 72'27W
After a fairly quiet night the forecast cold front has arrived. The wind has been building from the south east and has now reached near gale force, about 35 miles an hour. We are beam reaching across this, with three reefs in mainsail and jib, and it is a wild but comfortable ride. We're heading just south of east, a good thing to be doing at this stage of the trip as it means we can get out towards the longitude of the Virgin Islands and not have to fight the normal easterly winds that blow in the last few hundred miles of the journey.
As the front passes over us, the wind will shift back into the north west and we will turn and head more directly for the islands, down what is called the 'rhumb line', the shortest distance. The winds should remains just below gale force all day so we can expect to cover a lot of miles today
The crew like to sleep in (youngsters today, huh?) so we didn't have breakfast until almost eleven am. I'll cook an early dinner, it's moroccan vegetable stew tonight, always a good heavy weather recipe despite the large amounts of chopping and preparing needed in advance. There won't be fish today, it's just too wild out there to contemplate dragging a big fish aboard, let alone wielding a razor sharp knife to fillet it.
It's much warmer, I've been able to throw the thermals into the laundry and live in a tshirt most of the time, soon we won't even need socks, how nice. Still need the waterproof jackets but more for the odd wave that throws spray at us than for the warmth.
So, all's well. N.
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