Steady Progress

JJMoon Diary
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Fri 12 Jan 2007 11:26

We have been experiencing some inclement weather.  Clouds build up astern, the sky turns dark grey and the wind picks up rapidly to 30 knots plus.  Then the rain pelts down for half an hour.  Full oilskins, lower washboard in, hatch cover shut and a towel across the chart table.  It could be any August day in the Channel.  Then it clears to bright sunshine again.  In one respect the rain is welcome.  It is making a start on removing some of the sticky Sahara dust which still clings to any part of the exterior that is not shiny or sea washed.


The wind fell light for a period yesterday morning and the computer predicted seven or eight days to go.  I got a bit gloomy.  It was beginning to look as though the closer we got the longer it was going to take.  It serves me right for taking the slightest notice of the little window that predicts ETA.  It is affected by any brief lull or squall and if I had the necessary strength of character I would put a piece of sticky tape over that part of the screen.  We are still making satisfactory progress even though it is not quite in the right direction.


Mags has found her nest.  We have new, higher lee cloths this year (JJ Moon’s Improved Atlantic Roller pattern) and she tucks herself in behind.  She remembers me telling her that in our early days of family sailing Glyn, aged three or four, could be put in behind the lee cloths with his toys for hours, quite oblivious of the family stress and maritime mess surrounding him.  Mags can now tuck herself in with an improving book and forget for a short time the flying pans, slurping oily bilge water and wet jeans.  Not for long though.  It will soon be her turn again to take charge of this rushing instrument of potential chaos.


We have reserved our berth in the Rodney Bay marina - two short e-mails and a phone call for the credit card details - and been assured of a very warm welcome.  We are certainly looking forward to that.  We must now remember that St Lucia is four hours behind Europe.  We have been ticking along with UTC (Greenwich Mean Time that was) while the daylight changed around us.  We have eaten when we felt hungry and slept when we felt tired.  This won’t do.  We must re-join the rest of the world.


We have passed another virtual milestone.  JJ Moon carries enough fuel for 750 to 800 miles motoring.  We have used a little in charging the batteries but we now have only about 725 miles to go as the crow flies. If the wind falls very light we can give the engine a chance rather than hang around getting frustrated for several days.


A flying fish came aboard last night.  We found him this morning stranded across one of the scupper drains which he was sharing with a piece of sliced carrot.  I do not know where the carrot flew in from.