Days 5 & 6
Progress is very slow now as we near the equator
and the winds are very light but we are managing to keep moving with our
lightweight sails. We managed just 68nm from 5pm on Saturday to 5pm on Sunday and
the same over the next 24hrs, which ordinarily we would be quite disappointed
with but under the circumstances we are pleased that we are able to keep moving.
Our speed sits around 3kts, sometimes reaching the heights of 4.5kts in a gust
but rarely below 2kts.
We enjoyed our weekend; we still mark it as a
weekend even if it doesn't start with the FNWDs (Friday Night Work drinks)
cannon firing like it does when we are at anchor!!
Saturday we stuck to our morning traditions of
dippy eggs for me & a cooked breakfast for Jamie and listening to the Frank
Skinner podcast as we do every Saturday morning.
Sunday we treated ourselves to a special dinner;
freshly baked bread rolls, homemade burgers, slaw and potato chips all prepared
by the captain.
The Spinnaker has been up for most of the last
couple of days although we take it down at night and pull out the headsail
instead. This is because the Spinnaker needs to be carefully monitored incase
it wraps itself around the forestay if the wind shifts. The headsail tends to
make more noise as it slats around in light winds and doesn't give us as much
speed but it requires less attention and means we can get plenty of rest
without constantly monitoring it.
The conditions have been so calm that much of the
time it feels like we are just lying at anchor! This means we can move
comfortable around the boat and in the galley. It also means Meep is quite
happy to shadow us like he does when we are at anchor and whether we are in the
cockpit or down below he is usually at one or other of our side's. Despite the
calm conditions we continue to keep him on a tether whilst above decks and
don't leave him unsupervised.
Generally everything is good and we have little to
complain about. I was really pretty rough for the first few days and wrongly
attributed my symptoms to other factors; I thought I was achy from carrying
groceries and tired from finally putting to sea after all our preparations but
after a day or two and once I had a sore throat and sinuses to add to my
symptoms it was obvious that there was something else wrong. Whether it's covid
or just a cold it seems to be improving a little each day and I am grateful
that conditions are so smooth and I can get plenty of rest. In terms of the
state of Hamble Warrior after these first few days all is pretty good although
we lost the electronic log that measures our distance and boat speed after a
couple of days. We removed the small paddlewheel for this which sits through
the bottom of the boat and regularly needs removing and cleaning but on this occasion
that didn't seem to get it working again as it would usually. Whilst Jamie
investigates the problem with this we are calculating our distance electronically
but we do carry a mechanical log that can be towed behind the boat if needed.
It's a shame but it's not a huge problem.
The biggest disappointment so far has been the
fresh produce that we purchased from the market before leaving Panama. We were
alarmed by how quickly much of it was ripening and within a week we have
already had to weedle out items that either need to be prioritised in the meal
planning or thrown overboard. Then today I discovered a rather unpleasant smell
in the forepeak where we store our eggs and 3 of our carefully stowed 72 have
gone overboard today. It seems the produce we bought in Panama is far from the
standard of the fresh we bought in Tenerife before our Atlantic crossing which
is a great shame; especially as we will be at sea for twice as long this time :(
Still, we will continue to check and turn every
item regularly and our daily menu will be dictated by what needs eating. Once
all the fresh produce has gone we have bilges full of tins so we won't be going
hungry; it's just a shame that all of our careful planning and stowing didn't
We had a bit of excitement last night when a
sailing vessel appeared on our AIS; "Taloa" and we put the radio on
incase they wanted a chat but we never heard anything from them and they
disappeared again off our screen without us actually ever sighting them. It
still caused a little flutter of excitement though!
Otherwise nothing much else of any importance or
excitement.... been a few seabirds about; they seem curious as to what we are
and tend to circle the boat several times to have a good look before going on
their way. No more dolphins yet since that pod of large ones off our beam a few
days back. We have enjoyed some spectacular sunsets and sunrises. Night watches
we are treated to a night sky full of stars and galaxies overhead. The phosphorous
tends to be brightest around the boat earlier in the night and then the moon
takes over it's shift.
We are steadily working our way through our
library of books; if the winds remain this light we will have re-read some by
the time we get to Polynesia!! I have already switched to filling in my puzzle
books in pencil rather than pen just incase!! Still at least we are all still
sane... well as sane as when we left anyway!!
Have a good week everyone. Will send further
updates as the week progresses and we get closer to the Galapagos and the