Short of sleep

Paul Huntley
Sat 29 Nov 2008 12:31

20:37.83N 24:30.04W


Saturday 29th November 2008

Good morning to you all, Our position indicates that we are only a little north of Lat 20 degrees which, according to our latest forecast we should be entering the trade winds between 10/20 degrees north so, after a noisy, rocky night on a very broad reach with headsail sheets banging and genoa slatting we have reset the twin head sails, boomed out on the spinnaker pole and main boom. This is giving us a respectable 5;5 knots on a course wsw 240 degrees.

We are settling in to the routine of watches which is working well with a two hour watch each. The problem is to find a leeward bunk with the lee cloth up makes a snug berth but the same cannot be said for the weather bunks where you feel as though you are sleeping on the side of a very steep hill.

Dave cooked supper last night, a macaroni Bolognese using the last of our pre prepped meals. He cooked it all up in a massive pot which appeared to be enough to feed the entire fleet; we did however manage to eat most of it between the five of us. For desert we sampled the delights of a Greens packet mix cheese cake which wasn't bad.

Bob and Dave have spent most of the day perched on the after deck with fishing rod in hand resembling garden gnomes; I will have to make a pair of red hats to complete the image.

Bob did catch a small Dorado which, with infinite dexterity he filleted then, passing down the hatch to the galley they were cut in to gougions and tossed in bread crumbs , shallow fried for just a minute, I there room for another celebrity chef? This provided and excellent appetizer washed down with a cold beer. Yes it's tough out here!

We were passed during the night by a large cargo vessel to Starboard at 4 cables (less than half a mile) going north at 3/5 knots. We also had visitations from two flying fish which landed on the deck; they were too small to eat or maybe were just spoiled with Bob and Dave's fishing expertise.

We all enjoyed a hot shower yesterday afternoon with the exception of James, He intends to have this morning (that’s an order).Foot note: he’s just had it !

James is the one on watch and breakfast cook he has called the crew to the saloon for beans on toast and fruit juice.

We are now seven hundred miles in to the voyage with just two thousand to go, that sounds like a long way to go but time goes very quickly when you have to check for chafe on sails and running rigging , repair the things that break of fail to work, yesterday it was the turn of the aft shower loosing pressure, so a removal and strip down of the mixer unit exposed some blocked on line filters that probably hadn't been cleaned since they were installed. You have to remember that Libertad is in use day and night for weeks on end, this is probably equivalent to many years of normal use, so we have to make sure everything is on good working order all the time.

We have a radio net with other boats in our group and already one boat lost it's propeller and is diverting to the Cape Verde Islands for repairs, another boat had an upper shroud (rigging that holds he mast up) part and is doing the same.

Breakfast is over and the on watch is clearing away.

I did wonder whether we would be bored but, we are all busy most of the time, the afternoons seem to be the quiet times when we can read a book or listen to music. The pace of life has slowed for all of us .The crew have a great sense of humour which is so important; we seem to be able to see the funny side of most situations.

Well I must away; Bob wants to add to these missives,

Best wishes and love to you all Paul.