We try everything to improve our speed. It's a crux. Either we drive the perfect course, but then we are slower than a DHL package. Or we drive an acceptable speed, then we don't really approach Aruba anymore. So the compromise solution is an unfavorable course at slow speed. Our plans for the future after Aruba actually include another long blow to the Passat. We have to reconsider that. It would be much easier to reconsider if Jamaica finally opens its borders. But we won't see that again this spring.
A rain shower turns the wind another 40 ° to our disadvantage. After an hour and a half it is over and we are back on the compromise course.
Jens rediscovers skills believed to be lost. Since we left Lagos (Portugal), we have never had to worry about trimming our sails again. The wind always came from behind and was strong enough. Now it comes from the front and is sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker. Jens asserts the big one properly, it is now at the right angle to our genoa without wrinkles.
The compromise course becomes almost the perfect course, we should have dealt with the subject earlier. But who will complain about spilled milk, it is as it is. With the new course and speed, we can expect to be in Aruba on Tuesday.
Everything is as always. The on-board routine has set itself. Jens goes to bed after dinner, I'm on the first watch. The wind forecast promises us a turnaround in our favor for the next few hours, which is combined with a little more wind strength. Jens also says I would have all the fun, because less wind is predicted for his watch and the wind will turn to our disadvantage again.
So I am sitting in the cockpit reading a book when the wind picks up from 20 knots to 40 knots out of the blue. At the same time, heavy rain sets in. A picture-book squall. I fire up the radar and consider reefing the sails. The radar warm-up phase is 90 seconds, during which time I realized that we were safe on the road. Our well-trimmed sails and Sissi can easily cope with that. The wind pilot also puts it away and keeps the boat safely on course. I'm soaking wet in the cockpit. After a quarter of an hour the ghost is over and everything normalizes.
An hour later the next squall comes. This time the radar is on, I should have seen it first. But I didn't see him, the rain doesn't set in until later. But then violently, as I know it from Aruba. This time, too, the wind rises to 40 knots, I see the rain pattering on the solar cells. I didn't want that much fun at night.
Out of the blue it hits hard, a wave hits Sissi in the aft area. 12 tons of sailing boats are thrown to the side in a fraction of a second. My head hits the cockpit roof. That gives a bump. Jens calls out from the aft bunk that water has penetrated through the side window. Fortunately, the side window is still in place. The rules of the Atlantic are tough.
After carefully checking the weather forecast, the fun should be over by one in the morning. Jens will relieve me at three o'clock. So all the fun stays with me. Thanks. Meanwhile, Jens pulls a fresh, dry sheet on his bed. You don't treat yourself to anything else.
In the morning a bang wakes me up. Shortly afterwards, I hear that the electric autopilot has started working. I crawl out of bed. Jens informs me that one of the control cables of our wind pilot has torn off along with its deflection block. Another repair in the morning. It is frustrating. We only approach Aruba centimeters and each of these small defects throws us back several meters. Seventh Etmal 71 miles. Another 150 miles to Aruba as the crow flies.