GPS Lies and Eggs for breakfast

Bob Beggs/Ian Rivers
Sat 13 Nov 2010 06:20
38*29n 38*42w
A reasonably steady day today we’ve been headed by the wind which means we can’t point directly at the Azores but were not too far of course,  The latest weather grib files show that the wind is due to be kinder to us than first expected,  we will be beating but not into gale force winds.
Ian has been chef today, making cake in a frying pan, (that's a first for me also) then making popcorn with honey which apparently was delicious, I say apparently because he made it whilst I was sleeping then ate it all before I awoke.  From this I can conclude he is in collusion with my wife Carole to insure I come home thinner than when I left!
After lunch (left-over frying pan cake) we spent some more time working on the engine as it had been “hunting” during the night, we narrowed it down to water in the fuel which had got into the fine fuel filter,  this was changed then bled and the engine is running sweet again.
Four hundred an seventy miles to Horta, as always  I’m looking forward to a hot shower a cold beer and a good steak.  My thoughts have turned to our arrival because the GPS (Global Position System) has started to entice my imagination in that direction.
You see the GPS has a facility entitled TTG ( time to go) that is the time remaining until you arrive at your destination.  On Serica’s GPS the display has been fixed on >99 h (Greater than 99 hours until arrival) since we departed Hampton just over two weeks ago.  It is now telling me that we have between 72 and 80 hours to go,  But! its lying I Know because I've been had before.
Many years ago whilst finishing the single handed trans-Atlantic race, I was forty miles from the finish on a fast catamaran with good wind doing just under 20 kts.  I received a radio call from the coastguard asking for an ETA. a quick glance at the GPS gave me TTG just over two hours which I passed back to the coast guard.  The wind started to ease and my boat speed dropped to 10 kts, two hours later the race committee getting ready to tow me in, asked the coastguard to check on my ETA.  I was doing 10 kts with 20 miles to go and yes the GPS said TTG two hours, I passed this on, and the race committee went back to the bar.
The wind continued to ease and it was all I could do to make 5 kts so yes you've guessed, two hours later on the next check in from the coastguard, I still had ten miles to go, giving a TTG of two hours, the reception committee stayed in the bar.
Some eight hours after my initial coastguard radio call I finally sailed across the finishing line in Newport Rhode Island at two o clock in the morning after 28 days alone at sea. The Harbour Master came out to tow me in, his greeting and tow was greatly appreciated, but he told me the reception committee had gone to bed, the bar had closed, the restaurants weren't open, and he didn't have the code for the showers.  I was coming to terms having to face another night in a wet sleeping bag.
When I arrived  on the pontoon it was raining hard and all was grim, I tidied the boat and was contemplating getting into that wet bag.  Just in the nick of time a local volunteer yacht club host arrived with a cold beer in hand, an offer of a hot shower and a warm bed for the night, and at three in the morning his wife was up ready to start cooking a welcome meal.  They were vegetarians, but that scrambled egg on toast was the best I've ever had.
Perhaps Ian will don his chefs hat for breakfast we have some eggs........