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Sailing from Cabo Verde to French Guiana and Suriname – Day 11 (Wish You Happy New Year 2018!)

(January 1, 2018) New Year’s Eve Wine Toast at sea! We joked about our New Year’s resolutions and started the New Year 2018 with a good laugh. In previous years, I used to go over my old resolution, review, and modify it to make a new one. Sailing in a rough sea, I postponed this task until we arrive at our destination because I want to be sitting down without rolling my body due to the heavy waves. One resolution for sure is “Diligently Keeping good habits and bluntly getting rid of bad habits!” John said his resolution is to drink no more than 5 bottles of rum in any 24 hour period,

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 10 (Sleeping During Sailing)

(December 31, 2017) For the previous two nights and days, we have rarely slept because the boat was moving like a crazy horse by confused seas. Despite putting cushions by my sides and wedging myself tight to sleep, have I rarely slept for two days. It is the loud bangs and whirly movement that has kept me awake.

In order to help myself fall asleep, I tried a deep belly breathing exercise; breathe in 4 seconds by inflating my belly, hold my breath for 16 seconds in the center of my body, and breathe out 8 seconds by deflating my belly?

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 9 (Sailing Heavy Weather)

(December 30, 2017) The wind has been blowing hard. We have been sailing with a double reef and a smaller size Jib sail. High waves frequently bang the side of the boat. It feels like someone hits the side of a house with a big sledge hammer. The sound also reminded me of a gun range. We haven’t had a peaceful moment to relax.

We previously met many sailors who cross this route. Everyone told us it was the easiest sailing trip. For us, it has been a very difficult trip. We are not sure why? Maybe we approached this trip with an easy mindset?

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 8 (Flying Fish on the Deck)

(December 29, 2017) High waves bring an occasional salt water splash into the cockpit; even worse, it dumped salt water inside the companion way this afternoon. It was unexpected. Not wanting any sticky salt water residue, I wiped salt water and cleaned with fresh water using a rag. We have been sailing between 6-9 knots with 8-11 feet waves and random swells beating us on the rear side. We are little off our course but it has been sailing smoother than when we used the jib pole.

Earlier, I made six Burritos with Salami because there were six Tortillas in a bag.

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 7 (Passing Halfway Point)

(December 28, 2017) It seems long but we just passed the halfway mark! Our average speed for the first 1,000 miles is 6.4 knots, making an average of 150 miles a day. We have had two critical boat issues: Autopilot and Jib Pole. Having a spare for the Autopilot Compass Module, we fixed the autopilot problem. When the jib pole got bent in half, we replaced it with a spinnaker pole. We are hoping no major boat issues for the rest half of this trip.

Prior to departing Cabo Verde, we waited for an extra three days for good weather but it has not been in our favor: wind and waves have not been in sync.

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 6 (Watching Bioluminescent at Dark)

(December 27, 2017) As we sail South Westerly, we are getting warmer weather. Our current position is at the same latitude with Northern Colombia and Venezuela. Starting from days ago, we have been seeing lots of Sargassum sea weed. I learned it is good for fish life but it can also wash up on a beach making a foul smell, if it is left to rot.

Waking up at dark, I sometimes enjoy watching the bioluminescent brightening the water splashing around the boat. Having high waves, we usually stay inside of the boat. We haven’t looked for sea life yet during this sailing.

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 5 (Depending on Autopilot at Sea)

(December 26, 2017) We change our watch at 2am; John goes to bed and I am up managing the boat. We have one other crew member Auto the Autopilot who works 24 hours, nonstop steering the wheel and keeping us on course. Our watch duty involves, checking the course and adjusting the autopilot, periodically monitoring the sea and weather, inspecting things on the boat, looking out for other boats, and giving a belly rubs to one of our cats who follows us around and meows until she gets it.

I usually enjoy my night watch. For this trip,

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 4 (Time Zone at Sea)

(December 25, 2017) So far, we have seen only three ships on our SHIP tracking device (AIS system) since we started sailing. It looks we are the only boat in this part of the Atlantic Ocean. We have about 70% of the total distance to go to our destination, about 10 more days.

Before we left Cabo Verde, we spoke to a couple from the USA. We first met them in the Canary Islands and then saw them again in the Cabo Verde. They are just about completing the last route of sailing around the world, and are now going home to the USA via the Caribbean.

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 3 (Christmas at Sea)

(December 24, 2017) For the last three days of sailing, we haven’t seen a clear sky, sun, moon, or stars. The planet looks as if it only has two colors; the sky is gray and ocean is dark gray. Days are hazy and nights are pitch dark. I could wish for sunshine, bright moon, or some rain but it’s pointless. Sailing taught me about following nature’s law. Accept the weather and adjust the sails accordingly and sail the best and be the happiest I can be.

For our Christmas celebration, we made a fish fry as John suggested.

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Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 2 (Wahoo Day)

(December 23, 2017) Waves are still undefined making for uncomfortable sailing. I took extreme care when boiling water to make coffee not to get hot water spilled on me. This is the first time we have used the stove during this trip. At least the wind speed has been more or less steady keeping sails from crashing. We have been using a spinnaker pole (with Jib Sail) for wing-and-wing sailing after our jib-pole got folded in half yesterday.

We don’t normally drink alcoholic beverages when sailing. Because of high waves constantly beating the boat, I have hardly slept for the last two nights.

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