Day 9 Lazy Dawn's Ocean Passage - 29/11

Tue 29 Nov 2005 18:11
Disaster! We ran out of wind early yesterday evening and had to use the iron donk (engine) to make progress. We still um and ahh about using it, thanks to our racing attitude developed from racing all year. But we're not racing now and every day at sea is one day less drinking rum in the Caribbean!, so needs must. We just found out that some crews were quite desperate for a drink and popped into the Cape Verdes en route - obviously far more relaxed than us! though we understand many have been motoring far more than us and were running out of fuel!
Even so, Chris tried valiantly during the evening to eke some boat speed from sails alone, but in the end we ended up motoring most of the night. Around 0600 the wind started filling and Peter set the sails and by sunrise Jo and Peter (skip was sleeping) had the spinnaker flying pulling us along at breakneck speed....
At last!!, the trade winds have started developing and we are now running along at 7+kts heading straight for St.Lucia which is a mere 1720 miles away. Current position is 17N 31.5W. With the halfway point approaching in the next day or two, the champagne has gone in the fridge!
Our knowledge of celestial navigation is improving, with much work being done following the textbooks and putting this into practice with our daily sight taking (Ed. - I thought this was a holiday not a classroom!). If the GPS failed now, at least we'd know we are in the Atlantic! Truthfully, we're very happy with our sub 5 mile accuracy as accurate sights are a challenge on the Lazy Dawn roller coaster racer cruiser as she barrels down the waves.
Peter (not an egg fan) learnt it takes 4 1/2 minutes to soft boil an egg! while still managing to make an extremely lovely salad Nicoise beautifully accompanied by Parma ham and melon. Unfortunately this was our last melon as the other one had gone bad and was consigned to Davy Jones' locker.
Chris and Peter barbecued their backs during the fishing fight and filleting yesterday and have slight sunburn - t-shirts will stay on for the next few days in tropical temperatures over 30C !
Chris spotted the boom was about to part from the mast just in time and tightened the gooseneck. Just shows that a watchful eye must be kept on the rigging during a long passage.
Jo is coping well with life on board with no other female company, though she is missing her daily chance to flirt on the VHF with some local we're now out of VHF range from everybody - Chris "Thank god we don't have an SSB" (shortwave radio network allowing longer range communication amongst the ARC boats). Maybe that's why she's been thinking about work - the only one on board to do so - perhaps not surprising as she owns her business and neither of the boys do!
No fishing today, as we were worried about breaking EU fishing quotas! So, Jo awaits another day to show her filleting mastery and show the boys up!