Feast or fammin ?

Paul Huntley
Sat 6 Dec 2008 13:34

16:49.50N 38:52.35W

Saturday 6th December 2008

Welcome to Libertad this bright, but slightly overcast dawn in the middle of the Atlantic. I am pleased to report that we have had no more storms overnight, in fact, just the opposite. The wind overnight has been light and variable but mainly from the east at an unusable 5/8 knots. with a boat as heavy as Libertad with a GRT of 15:74 and at least 5 tons of stores water and fuel, we need 12 knots just to get us going.

We had a reasonable run yesterday to noon just under the 100 miles considering the conditions. Today we are expecting a little more with a 100 miles under our belt and still two hours to run to noon.

Having delayed the halfway party due to the stormy conditions the night before last, we had a nice meal and a bottle of chateau Libertad last night, the menu started with Oxtail soup accompanied by home baked garlic bread followed by a main course of roast lamb in a red wine sauce with roast potatoes carrots and peas, for desert, fresh bananas and custard. Yes we really are baking our very own fresh bread, doesn’t it smell good when it comes out the oven .mmmmmmmm .

The early night watches struggled to keep the boat sailing with just a breath of wind, by the time I came on watch at 04:00 am and Nick had managed to get a modest four knots on a course of 260 degrees. I had a go at the crew for not keeping the boat sailing throughout the night before, so now I have to suffer the consequences with constant trimming for best speed with the winches above my bunk working  like a manic dervishes, that will teach me!

This morning we are enjoying 12knots of wind from the east so we have just set the spinnaker, what a wonderful sight that sail is , being a British boat our spinnaker is in patriotic red, white and blue giving us a fantastic 6:5 knots over the ground, let’s hope we can keep it flying all day. We have to take it down at night because of the risk of squalls which come out of nowhere without warning.

Bob has the early morning watch and is in charge of breakfast and I am reliably informed will be beans on toast with an egg on the top, can't wait.

Nick had had a couple of sleepless nights but I think he had some rest last night and looks a lot better for it although he has reported a sore throat so he might be going down with something.

All the rest of us are doing great, James  has become our fore deck crew and sail trimmer, James put all his energy in to grinding those winches, Dave does all the rest leaving Bob to be in charge of himself which presents a challenge for him at times, He just broke the yoke of our fried eggs I can't repeat the expleatives,I am left to manage resources i.e. Battery recharging ,water making, navigation and log keeping, So all in all we have exploited each other’s strengths and try to ignore the weaknesses.

The generator has been running for more than seventy hours since leaving Gran Canaria It was certainly due for a bit of T.L.C. I topped up the oil (that was a mission in its self, but I won't bore you with the details, it did however, enable me to exercise some of the vocabulary at the cruder end of my extensive repertoire of expletives.

Well must away and make the radio schedule at noon UTC. and report our position and hear from the rest of the group, I think we are up there with the leaders in group A are the smaller boats in the fleet. The largest vessel is an Oyster 85 which I suspect might be near or docked in St Lucia already.

Love and best wishes to all, Paul