As Dee Caffari flies past the Cape Verde Islands she ponders over a second reef 4/5/06

Date3 May at 2300

PositionN 16° 58′ / W 26° 51′

It was one of those real good days sailing today. There was lots of spray on deck, sunshine and 20 knots of breeze. Add to that the fact that we were heading as close to north as possible and you couldn’t help but smile.

Tonight, however, is giving me one of those dilemmas. Should I, shouldn’t I scenarios. We are close to needing a second reef in the mainsail, but I am keen to push while the sea state is still moderate. The wind is really picking up and it gets to the point where we would go as fast if not faster with the next reef, yet half an hour later the wind drops again and if I had put the second reef in then we would be going too slow. I shall hang on until I really need the second reef.

The Cape Verde Islands passed to the east of me today without a sign of their existence. I was about 100 miles off from them to avoid any disturbances the islands can cause to the wind. I expected there to be more shipping around but I only saw one vessel heading due east passing behind me today.

The forecast looks good for the next few days of established trade winds so progress should continue. I am now concentrating on crossing my fingers for the weather beyond that being kind.

Dee & Aviva