Go south until the butter melts...

Thu 25 Nov 2010 16:54
20:38N 21:43W

As the shifts result in a shortage of sleep, here just a paragraph I risk I dulpicate with a previous blog... Go south until the butter melts, and then head west! This was apparently what the rule was a few hundred years ago, when sailors were looking for the trade winds. Today, with modern technology like gps, sat phones and internet, near real time information can be received and or computed, which makes this old rule obsolete. Or not?

New stuff.
As you may be able to see, we are on a south-southwest path, looking for these trade winds, but no luck sofar. Stronger, we are motor sailing today, and it does not look like we are any close to the trade winds. Despite weather reports, 'grib' files, email and text-message weather forecasts we cannot find them. Luckily we are not alone, it seems that except for the first 25 boats most other boats have the same problem as we have. The solution in the Pilot handbookm is to keep going south, as turning west too early could risk fuel shortage as the winds on the mid atlantic are apparently not steady or strong enough to bring you efficiently across.
So we spent again hours and hours today, measuring, calculating, discussing and reading about what to do next. Where to aim for. We have chosen late this afternoon to keep on cruising as high as we can on the wind, so about 220 degrees, which will bring is - if nothing else changes - in 36 to 48 hours at the Cape Verde Islands... In otself nothing wrong with this, except that this is quite a detour if you compare it with a direct line between the Canaries abd St Lucia. But anyway, more north there is even less wind, so we need to go south, and a bit west. It is amazing to see how much time we can spent on coming to the comnclusion to keep on going with the same course :)

While the older dudes are screaming and playing air guitar and other instruments while listening to Dave Brubeck and Andre Hazes, I have excessive time today for this blog, I hope you do too!

Some numbers. I know you can see better tracking and ranking on line, but we are content with the rank we have in the ARC, its all days between 60 and 100 out of 240 or so boats participating. After exactly 3 days sailing, we clocked 500 Miles, and after yesterdays slow wind sessions, we clocked 'only' 100Miles in the ast 24 hours, making our total 600Miles, thus an average of 150M. So far so good. However, the planned route is 2800Miles, while it starts to like our actual trip will be around 3200Miles, quite a bit further. This 'may' have an impact on our planned arrival in St Lucia, but again this depends on the wind :)

Regarding food on board, H and Hn checked again today for funny smells and rotten fruit in the lockers. And boy did they discover smelly stuff. Lots of paprika (pepper?), courgette, tomatos avocados and oranges have been given a seamans grave, and we are forced today to only eat bananas and avacado or else throw them away as well. The fridge temperature is slowly but steady increasing, initially from 3c to just over 10c today, which forced us to cook all meat that is not in the little freezer... We were all also forced this afternoon to consume a HAM lunch, half a kilo to be exact. And still no fish, despite our effort to catch 'm the bastards just won't bite, WE WANT SUSHI !!!!!

Energy. While motorsailing, we have plenty of energy, so laptop, cameras and other stuff are charged and the radio plays loud. However we do not have a final solution from Phocos, the hardware provider of the power regulator which is installed between the solar panels and the batteries. G plays a crucial communications role here, as both the Phocos engineers in the USA and Germany as well as "the boat dudes" can only communicate via G, via email. But as the engine is running, we cannot see and measure what the panels are doing, which is what the Phocos dudes want to know, a catch 22?

Some other info.
- A removed his beard, moustache and finally his hair, making him more bald than ever :)
- E congratulated his daughter J with her 28th birthday via G
- It is getting warmer and warmer, t-shirts are off most of the day, and sea temperature moved from 22c in Las to 24.5c right now.
- E showed A today how to use a sextant, we are still to see if, when and how this will/can be applied to our advantage
- E spent about an hour playing his 'thin whistle' today, first in the cockpit, until he was ordered to excercise this nano picolo swiebertje/ratten-vanger-van-hamalen device on the bow...
- And finally SSB, despite efforts in rasing the antenna and further tweaking, we have not been able to receive any language we could follow...
- 6 minutes to happy hour !!!! I need to hurry up, as we need to conclude before happy hour on new shifts.
- more nonsense tomorrow.