11. Going the distance

Telefonica Black
Lance Shepherd
Wed 29 Jan 2020 08:13
15:43.557N 044:51.227W - Number of Gybes: 15 - Distance to Antigua: 978 nm - ETA: 02/02/2020 16:22h
Maximum speed today: 16.9 - Winner of the day: Johannes
We really hope you liked the blogs of people other than myself the last couple of days. There most likely will be more to come. But not today, today you are getting an 'usual' update on how we are doing. First I have to correct the 'winner of the day' of yesterday. It was brought to my attention that at 23.45h the record of Alex was crushed by 1,5 knot by Marie. The only other lady on the boat apart from Claire and myself.
Marie (GER) was wave boarding in Panama when she was invited by a skipper to cross the Pacific with him. She really wanted to go but did not trust the motives of the guy in question and decided against it. After finishing her master degree in sports she decided to go to Las Palmas and do some wave boarding down there. As a new returnee on Facebook she stumbled on the page of Telefonica Black and saw they were heading to Las Palmas too. She wrote an email when she was still in Germany and a couple of days later she received a message back from Claire that she was welcome on board in 2 days. She hadn't even touched down in Las Palmas yet!
Marie her only sailing experience is being a 'jib-monkey' as she puts it, during a dinghy event some time ago. She is however taken by the ocean and is an incredible fast learner. Marie has more than once set the benchmark for the 'speed of the day' competition and yesterday she even took the prize home.
If you look at the speed of the day you might think we are doing great overall. Do not get me wrong, we are doing great, but we are also behind schedule. Leaving Las Palmas we expected to arrive in Antigua on the 31st of January at the latest, but the wind strength and direction have not been our friend the last week which makes that we are doing a much greater distance than anticipated.
Just some numbers:
Total nm done: 2307
Total nm to do: 978 in a straight line, which will most likely be around 1300 with the angles we are doing
Average speed: 9 knots
Max. speed overall: 19,9 knots
On Telefonica Black we cannot sail dead down wind, which means we always have to sail in angle off the wind (around 110-120 degrees). So instead of a straight line from Las Palmas to Antigua we have to Gybe down. Those are the angles you see our tracker. Because the wind pressure sometimes drops to a mere 13-14 knots we have to sail sharper angles (90-100 degrees) to keep the boat moving. This means we are doing much more distance than we anticipated. In a straight line the trip would have been 2700 nm but it is safe to say that we will have done about 3700 nm upon arrival on Antigua.. Luckily we cannot influence the weather Smile emoticon
Life on board is still very good. We are really surrounded by an amazing bunch of talented people. We did another watch rotation so now it is my turn to be with Marie and Pierre. Yesterday we saw another sailing boat, the first in 4 days and we finally have proof that we are not alone in this world! Jose flew his drone again today which really is an (exciting) thing. Especially landing back on the boat. I got the chance to see some footage and believe me, it is awesome.
Even though we are running out of fresh food so the ratio of freeze dried will increase, Claire is still doing her magic from the galley (kitchen) which is truly amazing. The galley doesn't even deserve the word galley if you look at how limited it is. We did run out of sugar to put in our coffee/tea but have sweeteners to compensate and there are enough sweets on the board which also help.
Slowly everybody is starting to think about their next step. Most people are planning to stay in Antigua for a little while before trying to hitchhike to other destinations. Only Drew has different 'problems', his flight leaves on the second of February in the morning and he will most certainly not be able to make it. That really sucks, not for him (his lovely wife is changing the flight for him) but for me, because winning the raffle is out of the question now..
Enjoy your day!