Lat: 10 47.872′ S

Long: 26 08.395′ W

Yesterday was one of our best days at sea thus far, if you ask me. We had steady trade winds at the right angle for keeping both the spinnaker and main set, keeping us at speeds of 4-5 knots. It was a warm, sunny day with relatively calm seas (these have been the norm for us in the South Atlantic), and Dallas was inspired to come up with new ways for us to cool down. Since we don’t have any water guns on board, he opted to set up a kind of swing from the end of boom, which was already resting above the water on the port side of the boat. We used a spare bosun’s chair that we had on board and attached it to the end of the boom with a line running through a block that swiveled, with the other end of the line wrapped around the mainsail wench. It was a good setup, and I was eager to be the first volunteer to try it out.

I put my legs through the holes of the chair while still standing on board and stepped outside the lifelines to prepare to jump. I signaled to Dallas that I was ready, and then went for it. I tried to propel myself as far from the boat as I could before my weight dropped me down to the water, but with the amount of line that was paid out, this was only about 5′. Regardless, it was a great feeling when Dallas tensioned the line so that I hit the water and got caught up in its refreshing, fast-moving wake without getting totally submerged. After soaking this in for a while and trying to get used to moving around in the chair with endless currents of water pushing me aft of the boat, I asked Dallas to hoist me up and out of the water so that I could simply swing around, using the hull of the boat as a springboard. I probably could have stayed in the swing all afternoon, but it was time to give someone else a go.

Tracey was a little reluctant to follow in my wake. I can’t imagine why observing me, "Ms. Extreme" (according to my sister, but in reality more like wanna-be extreme), hadn’t convinced her of the safety of the activity, but with some gentle coaxing from Dallas, she hopped in and enjoyed it thoroughly. Of course Dallas got into it as well and is looking forward to getting his younger brother into the swing when he visits us in late April.

DSC_0332 Woo hoo!DSC_0295

Tracey descended a little more gingerly

DSC_0376 So refreshing!

When it was already 80 degrees in the salon in the early morning, I thought today might be a swing day as well. Instead, a couple of large, dark clouds brought winds from forward of the beam, so we needed to bring in the boom to use the full mainsail. Now we are missing the dark clouds and their accompanying wind, as we’re just crawling along at 3 knots in less than 10 knots of wind from astern….at this rate, we’ll arrive in Brazil the day after Carnival is finished! But we have faith in the trade winds and expect them to pick up again tomorrow to take us the remaining 540 miles to the land of hearty revelry and colorful spectacles competing for attention, with a bit of chaos thrown in. Should be fun!