100 miles to Antigua!  Almost there.  Yahoo!

It is hard to believe that we are only 100 miles from Antigua.  We are into our 12th day at sea and it feels like it has been even more than that.  Can you say “forever?”

Frankly, I have had quite enough of sunrises at sea but for consistency, here is one more…

And, as there is not a lot to take photos of:  So, from the cockpit… Forgive me but there is not a lot to do at 6:00 in the morning on watch…

And speaking of 190+ mile days, proof of speed.  From right to left.  Wind speed, boat speed, wind direction and apparent wind and depth.  However, depth is not correct as it is more than a mile deep here. Depth instruments often read stuff in the water or even changes in temperature.

As we rock along at 8+kts, we do leave a bit of a wake.  Sadly, this does not do justice so you so suspend disbelief and go with me on this.  It is a big ocean out there/here.

When we left Essex the water temperature was a chilly 61 degrees and it was downright cold at night.  We even ran the cabin heat to keep things above 60 down below. 

Fast forward nearly two weeks from our departure, and 1,700 ocean miles later, it is plenty hot and humid and the ocean has warmed considerably, into the 80s. 

Each day the temperatures have climbed steadily but things did not really get unpleasant until two days ago when temperatures down below really climbed, into the high 80s.  Even with fans blowing on us, it has become hard to sleep. With waves breaking over the boat regularly, we cannot open any hatches lest we end up with buckets of water below.  A slow drip is bad enough.  Years ago I left a small hatch open in the gally and had to mop up several gallons of water that came cascading down in an instant.   I will not make that mistake again.

Since we entered the trade winds, we have not had to turn on the engine and have consistently reeled off over 190 miles a day.  Alas, never 200 but 190, 196 and such is quite respectable.  It is always a good thing when our speed picks up toward the end when we have all had just about enough sea time, thank you very much.   When will we get there?  Sooner than if we were going slower…

We expect to arrive in Antigua around midnight and we have not yet decided if we are going to go directly into English Harbor or perhaps duck into nearby Falmouth, anchor for a few hours and then move over to English Harbor once it becomes light.

The entrance to English Harbor is narrow and entering in the dark is daunting, well to me at least.  The idea of going nearly 1,800 miles and ending up on a rock ledge in the middle of the night is not my idea of a good way to “end” the run so perhaps Falmouth makes sense.

The simple fact is that at midnight we will be tired after a long run and that alone suggests that the prudent thing is to “do easy”.

So, as we reel off the last 100 miles all I can say is that I am very much looking forward to toasting our arrival with Matt and Peter and then for a swim.  Sans clothes?  That’s my plan.  Besides, it will be dark…

It feels good to be “almost there” but what I am looking forward to even more is “we have arrived”. 

Not to jinx it as we are not there yet, but next post, from English Harbor…

And, on a more random note, Brenda, who I can not wait to see when I get home later this week. I wonder if she would have said “I do” had she even suspected what lay ahead…

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