02:58.866'N 84:10.658'W Monday, steady Monday

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Mon 27 Mar 2023 21:58

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 pay off.

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 equator.