Lat/Long: 23 27.471N/73 18.921W
Distance (24hrs): 120nm
Distance (total): 593nm
If all goes well today should be our last full day on this passage. We have moved onto the Bahamas charts and are less than 50 nm from Samana Cay and other desirable destinations. If our schedule allowed for it we'd love to divert for a few days and explore these out islands as they are usually difficult to get to and are nearly deserted and unspoiled (our favorite kind). However, we need to keep moving onwards and restrict our visiting to places directly along the way.
Yesterday I mentioned that the days were so similar that they were blending into each other. Well, last night created some much desired variation to keep us entertained. Most of the day there was so little wind that we had the motor on almost from sunrise to sunset. The batteries got a good charge and we kept our velocity up. The weather was very hot so everyone had a quiet day doing slow things like napping or reading in the cockpit - except for Carla who decided to do laundry that refused to dry in the humid heat and no wind. It was flat and calm enough that you almost felt that we were at anchor. This all changed around midnight. A thunder storm emerged in the east and slowly advanced on us. By 1:30am it was directly north of us, brushing us with its windy shoulders. We had the engine off coasting along at a comfortable 5-6 knots over the quicksilver seas lit by the waning moon. It was a spectacular 2 hours of sailing, one of the best night sails this whole season.
I think there is some proverb that says, "good things never last" which is what I was thinking last night as by 3am a new thunder storm had advanced from the south east. This time we were directly in its path and the moon slowly disappeared behind the black on dark gray ominous clouds. We reefed both sails at the watch change as the wind picked up to over 15 knots with occasional gusts to 20. The seas built and the rain came. It was nice to get some variation in our passage diet of calm, moon filed nights but by 4:30am the sea and wind were no longer in agreement, the wind was fading and we were wet and rolling around quite uncomfortably. The engine came back on to smooth out the rolls and we hid below.
There is a little festive atmosphere on board this morning as we start getting ready for tomorrow's arrival. Aidan exclaimed that the fresh smell after the rain reminded him of Christmas in Vancouver and Carla has cooked up a nice pot of hot cereal for breakfast. New charts and guide books are out on the navigation station and our next way point is nearly due west of us. We're almost there!