The crew of Emily Morgan have settled into a staggered 3-hours-on-6-hours-off watch system with Anna and Bones on standby (i.e. continuously on watch until we convince them of our sailing ability!) The watch leaders began with (Todd)0000-0300; (Elizabeth)0300-0600; (Brody)0600-0900; (Todd)0900-1200 and so on. The three sailors began with (Clare)0100-0400; (Alex)0400-0700; (Keith)0700-1100; (Clare)1100-1300 and so on. This way there is an overlap between watches so that information is transmitted and it allows time for people to adjust. So, it's a nine-hour rotation which repeats every three days, and no one gets stuck with the night watch.
Today was a day of consistent North Easterly winds. We were making upwards of 5 to 8 knots. (nautical miles an hour). The boat rocked and rolled in the increased wave height. Keith performed acrobatic miracles producing moussaka for dinner while cupboards catapulted their contents onto the unheeding. A lesson on the importance of keeping doors secure! On deck, preventers were attached to the mainsail and staysail booms to ensure no accidental gybes sent the booms flying across the boat and taking a person with them. With the increase in wind strength, Bones held a sail reefing lesson on the foredeck. That way, the amount of sail can be reduced as the wind increases.
Anna accesses multiple sources for the weather forecast to analyse and decide on the course to steer. Her plan is to sail south to lower latitudes where we'll encounter the strong easterly trade winds to blow us across the Atlantic. Today we crossed the tropic of Cancer which is 23½ degrees north of the equator. Traditionally, the advice is to sail south until the butter melts and then turn right.
Over the four days since the start of the rally on Sunday we've sailed 450 nautical miles. Only another few thousand miles to go!