Sailing past French Guyana – 06 14 North 051 54 West

The hatches are all closed tonight as we are sailing close hauled on the
wind. We had one wave through the saloon window earlier which was one wave
too many. As a result its sweltering below decks tonight.The crew are all sleeping apart from one passenger we seem to have picked
up. A small bird hitching a lift on top of our bimini (the cockpit sun
cover) It’s been chatting away for the past few hours. We suspect it may
have flown into the mainsail and injured itself. We’ll investigate more in
day light tomorrow.

We are passing lands which we know little of. First past the Amazon and now
off the coast of French Guyana – a French colony apparently full of French
expats in the same way Reunion and French Polynesia are. Then, we’ll pass
Surinam, Guyana and Venezuela. From catching up on the Economist we have a
better understanding of why Venezuela has become a piracy hotspot –
inflation running at some 200% and the economy in trouble. Doesn’t make for
a settled place – we’ll be giving it a wide berth.

Along this coast line, we’ve made the wrong strategic calls so far. We
focused on getting the wind angles right and didn’t pay enough attention to
the huge currents here which can work massively in your favour. We’ve got a
great programme Weather 4D Pro which along with the winds shows the
currents. We’ve managed to get ourselves in some great current now and have
around 2-3 knots flowing with us giving us a very fast 10 knots. We estimate
that for the past 24 hours we’ll have sailed some 220 miles – a big distance
for us.

The crew are all settled into the passage now. Schooling is in good flow –
writing fiction stories and book reviews, I’m reading the 39 Steps with
Bluebell and Lord of the Flies with Columbus. Maths has been made easier by
some handy apps which the kids are now using daily to keep sharpening their
mental maths skills.Today we had a half way party – beef and veg stir fry,
fairy cakes made by Bluebell and a Harry Potter film.

Nichola and I are getting time to continue with our plans and what we do
next. Grenada is only some 3-4 days away where we will celebrate completing
our circumnavigation crossing our outbound track. It will be very strange
arriving there having left there in January last year to sail the Carribean
sea and joining the World ARC fleet in the San Blas Islands.

Time to go on deck and check on our feathered friend and cool down.

Team Aretha, Out.

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