Evening internet sailors and followers.
Another hot day out in the east Atlantic. We are now around 135 miles south of Santiago, the main island in the Cape Verde region. The humidity is increasing continually as we head further into the tropical region and the heat is also as expected, rising.
As Mark stated yesterday the heat down below has become unpleasant in the sleeping area so some have resorted to sleeping on deck.
Luckily for myself having just completed the mother watch I found myself lying amongst the sails in a much comfier climate than my compatriots down below. Others came and went during their watch but having the whole night to rest I took the opportunity to get comfy, pull a jacket over myself and get some shut eye. I have to say waking up on the foredeck will definitely go down in one of the best wake ups in my lifetime so far and being only 22 I hope to see many more.
I think the key topic of conversation today was our first squall. Squalls are another type of pressure system, one of many that we will encounter on our trip around the world, but probably one of the most dangerous.
Although we have been lucky enough to encounter just one so far many of the other boats have seen far many more and we can be sure to see more further into our journey.
So what are squalls all about I hear you cry? They entail small fronts of air colliding and heading upwards at an incredible rate. So much so that when they reach a particular point they cool and come back down as rain. They can bring with them thunder storms, lightning, hail and dramatic changes in wind direction and speed.
In this case we spotted the squall on the radar (The density of the cloud reflects back to us on the scanner so we are able to see it there). After tracking it so for some miles it became apparent that it was going to pass over us. Visual contact was made and we can particularly note squalls as they are heavy with moisture and tower above most of the other clouds in the vicinity.
Upon closer inspection you might find heavy precipitation as well. As with most manoeuvres on a boat preparation is key to make sure it goes off without a hitch. Especially when something as potentially dangerous as a squall comes through. In this particular case we found ourselves with a tame squall which held a lot of rain but not a huge amount of wind. Because we had prepped so well we found ourselves waiting for the changes to happen. We got down our spinnaker in good time and had the stay sail already hoisted in anticipation to scoop up any extra wind without being over powered. After seeing what the squall had to offer we then put up our largest head sail the Yankee 1 and headed further west which was as a result of the change in wind direction to south east.
It was good to get a feel for what might come in the future although I think we can expect the next one to be somewhat more fierce.
On a personal note I felt yesterdays mother watch went swimmingly and the bread went down a really hit with all of the guys. It certainly lowered the impact of the freeze dry food on of dinners. Giving people an option was certainly a good thing and I have to say I really enjoyed the experience again despite being exhausted after washing up after 20 hungry people in a temperature that was fairly unbearable without being in the galley yet alone with boiling water and a gas stove to heat things up further.
Anyhow that's enough for now I need to save up things to talk about for the days when things get thin on the ground :-)