Day 12, 13
Sat 5 Dec 2009 20:19
Early Thursday  morning we crossed the point : 1000 miles to go.
The wind decreased to force 3 , sometimes 4. It came from the back and the wind speed was reduced by the speed of the boat, so only a few knots actually pushed the sail. In the ocean with 2 to 3 m waves the boat rolled like made and the sails without enough wind started flapping. And that went on the whole day. In despair we tried to hoist the gennaker and
use it like spinnaker, but it didi not work. Gennaker is not a downwind sail. During the night there were a lot of clouds
and they brought some more wind, sometimes with gusts up to 25 knots.
On Friday the picture repeated, weak winds despite the weather forecast telling us about 15 to 20 knots. It was around 10 knots, flapping sails and rolly sea. In the evening the wind was around 8 knots and at 23:00 we decided to stop the agony. We put the engine on and rushed away with 8,5 knots of speed. At 2 am we set the sails again as it was blowing with 20 knots, but after one hour it was back to the old pattern. So engine on again  till sunset when we finally reached the zone  with steady 15 knots ( Force 4Bf).
All together the engine was used for 8,5 hours.
I found out that the alternator which was changed in Las Palmas did not work.  We will have to fix it in St. Lucia.
The crew is relaxed, we have enough supplies, we shall be in St Lucia in well in time for our flights and have time to thoroughly clean the boat. Our estimation is that we shall reach our destination sometimes during Thursday.