Tue 23 Nov 2010 12:23
The parasailor is doing fine, although with light winds, less than Bf3, it becomes a bit unstable, and we almost had to take it down yesterday late afternoon at Bf1/2. But then, wind kicked in overnight again, and we soon were running upto 10 knots! with Bf5. Overall I think the wind is between Bf4 and 5, Ne to E direction.
Both E and A are recovered, although getting in the shifts (of 4 hours on and off) also takes some time to get accustomed to, and the 4 of us are in good shape. We steer as much as possible by hand, except at night if the wind is too flaky and if there is not enough moonlight, the ARC departure was with full moon, so lots of light.
The other reason to steer by hand is that we are trying to use as little energy as possible. It seems the solar panels are either not loading as before or the consumption of power is too much. We have not yet figured it out, but it looks like we will need to motor today for a few hours to get the batteries full again, which is a bit disappointing, in a previous week, G and A could live aboard 6 days without engine/shore-power, but now it seems 2 days is max...
About E. E spotted 4 dolphins, but has no proof sofar. E also has the best taste sensors as he does not like the taste of the water on board, chlorium he believes. E also just set the record with H on doing 32 miles in a shift, this means an average of 8 knots, something Hn and A are trying to improve :). E also bought a Barometer just before we departed, and it has been going up and down, without any rain or squall, 1007 till 1022, 1018 now.
H reports that it is cold at night, outside that is. H also has taken care of the cooking till now, chicken with collie flower, and just reported it smells on board like petrol, and we are now going to close the ventilation for the petrol container.
We get automatically a weather report from the ARC office each day by email, we collect a specific grib file ourselves with a few days of weather forecasts ourselves, and we have, while we remain close to shore, also NAVTEX weather, and, if we only new the broadcast schedules, we could use our radio to receive weather info. This radio was again a last minute purchase, and we should have been able to listen to the ARC radio net on SSB (Single Side Band), but we have not been able to hear a thing on the provided frequencies and times.
It looks like in 1 hour from now we will have been clocking a total of (2510-2197) = 313 Miles, so avg = 6.5 knots. According to the board computer, that would mean an ETA for St Lucia of 9 DEC at 2300, but we believe, that, once we are south enough to pick up the trade winds closer to the Cape Verde islands, the avg speed will increase, and if we would have an avg speed of 7 knots, we'd be making landfall on 8 DEC at 1900.