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Bella Donna (5) - APRIL 16, 2007

The day started much like yesterday, except the moon is missing. The weather has turned

warmer and the wind died last night. I filled in the ship's log; we log the GPS position,

wind speed-direction, course heading, distance traveled and speed since the last watch

started, e.g. every 3 hours around the clock while on passage. Up on the fly bridge

Deborah is ready to finish her watch, but she is not sleepy. She has finally caught up on

her sleep and had a couple of cups of coffee at 3 AM when her shift started. After a short

period the big orange ball pops up on the water on the horizon behind a few low clouds. We are almost half way to the Panama Canal.

After a while the sea is alive with flying fish zooming along just above the water. Just

like birds alarmed by an approaching car the fish dart from in front of our bow flying

several hundred feet and diving into the water again. We have had dolphins swimming with Bella Donna in the past few days, but I do not see them right here right now. The wind is picking up; I am starting to see an occasional white cap and Bella Donna is starting to

pitch and roll a little.

John takes his shift and immediately takes the Genoa sail down and raises the huge Code

Zero Spinnaker sail. We accelerate from 9.5 to 10.6 knots as a result. So far this passage

has been the best yet. Greek salad is served for lunch, reminds me of Donna's birthday on

Bella Donna in Greece. We all talk about doing Greece and Turkey after Africa.

Our newest crew member Anthony is a great guy. He is very young, in his twenties. He is

from South Africa like John. In fact, he reminds me of a young John. John is giving him

experience so he can captain on his own after this passage. He is to be with us at least

through Marquesas; I hope longer. I am really looking forward to getting to know him better.

Well I hear that Galapagos does not have internet, so any high speed internet we get to

send pictures and update web sites will be in Panama. I must spend the rest of today

preparing for this.

God Bless Bella Donna.

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