DAY 4 – 7 December 2006
The wind eased slightly with gusts and continuing big seas.
There was no significant change in direction so I did not change tack, I could always change for the night, but I was less than ½ nm off course so I did not bother.
I was able to listen to the weather conditions of the other boats on the radio. Still tough, but supposed to be easing by Monday. One that I know that was going to Tobago has now changed to Barbados.
There is now an EPIRB going off and everybody was being asked to contact as many boats as possible to pass the message on. They don t think it is an ARC boat, just proves you really should register your EPIRB. I would hate to be the one out there with everybody trying to get in touch with me in case it went off by accident. At what point do they actually start a rescue. Mine are both registered and I can t see how the main one could go off by accident. So if it goes off, please just come and get me.
The time difference seems to have affected the sea state. I got ready to reef, at 21:15, but it didn t all kick off until 22:15. I felt a bit mean reefing straight up to 3, but it was getting late. I did actually see the speed register 8.8 knots.
It also doesn t get light until nearly 8am. I was really hungry from 6:30, but couldn t face it in the dark. I threw the little fish in the cockpit overboard and started letting the reefs out gently; they were all out by 9 am.
Made a small loaf, a very quick one, no yeast, just cream of tartar and bicarb, it will be quite solid, but I was desperate. I lost half my cup of tea down the sink before I could even get to it. While the bread was cooking I decided to make some cheese straws. Not easy conditions for it, but needed cheering up. It is hard deciding what you have to catch and what might stay put on the anti slip or in the sink. Tip of the day: Anti slip does not hold a rolling pin. Nevertheless I persevered and they came out very well, and I have eaten half of them in preference to the bread; that can now be for lunch.
The sun still refuses to shine and I have given up and am back to trousers and a sweatshirt, and the socks are on standby. It is not that cold, but the wind behind means there is no protection. I am sure I will complain when it is so hot I do not know what to do with myself, but that day has not arrived yet.
I finished the book and will start another one today, it is just so difficult trying to get comfortable without falling off. There was a lot of salt on the inside of the sprayhood and I have imprints of the little fish as they were swept to their doom, probably worth a fortune as a new art form.
124 nm since yesterday noon, but still over 1500 miles to go.