Thursday 28th May 2009.
All the crew are in their bunks getting some well earned rest, I took over the watch from Lucien at 06:00 am Libertad is wallowing in no wind. We are almost totally becalmed and have been for most of the night, making just one mile to the east in the past hour.
What has been happening since my last blog, well not very much to be honest, When you think of crossing oceans in a small boat you would consider the most challenging moments are during storms and they certainly are, but the frustration of going nowhere for perhaps days at a time on a lumpy sea is also a test of the crews endurance and patience. You would imagine that with no wind, the sea would be flat, but we have a two to three meter swell which rocks the boat in a most uncomfortable way setting up a pendulum motion which makes life very difficult. You find that sleep is fitful at best, because of the pitch and roll as well as the cacophony of noise from slating rigging and the contents of lockers rolling from side to side. We are now still less than halfway to the Azores with more than 1000 nm to run, Our remaining fuel has to be conserved to run the generator charging batteries and running the water maker are essential to sustain a reasonable life aboard.
Since my last blog we have made some progress to the east with a daily run noon to noon yesterday of 127 n.m. today will be much less, but with luck we may just top the 100 n.m.
Reading is one pastime that we are all enjoying and the books are being swapped and devoured at rate of knots. We also allowed ourselves the luxury of a matinee movie last afternoon "The Eagle Has Landed” this old film seems to have lost a lot of its lustre and credibility since I last watched it, despite having a top flight cast.
Lucien was on dinner watch and very thoughtfully waited until the film had finished before starting to prepare dinner, this put his schedule out, but never the less we eventually had Lamb shanks in Rosemary sauce with boiled potato, carrots and sweet corn followed by home baked lemon meringue pie, the instructions on the packet are hard for us to follow, Lucien found the translation impossible resulting in an interesting desert. Ah! You haft too bac the top yes?
Our routine normally starts at about 08:00 am with the generator coming on for one to two hours followed by breakfast. We have a selection of cereals to choose from and still have fresh all be it UHT milk .Our bacon supplies are all but finished so toast/bread with marmalade or jam are the most popular choice washed down with juice ,tea, or coffee.
For me this is my busy time of the day, position reports have to be e-mailed to Cowes at noon U.T.C that’s 09:00 am local time followed by the SSB radio net to again report our position to the rest of the fleet and catch up on the other boats problems or just to chat with each other.
There have been several retirements for a variety of reasons from dismasting to mechanical failures of one sort or another. Some of the larger boats, which compared to us is most of the fleet, have the fuel capacity to motor the entire 2000 nm and appear to be doing so, the lead yacht is now at 45 degrees west some 600nm to the east of us.
We are having regular visits from Dolphins and Porpoises, our collection of rubbish bags is attracting the attention of more and more sea birds. We are hoping that we may see more whale as we go east but nothing as yet.
Drew has been studying his sail trim book and applying this new found knowledge to our rig with some success, he is often to be found on deck repositioning genoa cars and tweaking the sheets with good affect.
Lucien spends much of his time reading; fortunately he brought a French library with him (La bibliotheca Lucien) I am sure that's wrong! Guy has been helping Drew study for his Yachtmaster, quizzing him on lights and day marks at regular intervals. I haven’t seen the sextant being used lately, maybe today is the day for a Noon sight or a Sun Run Sun.
Me, well, I content myself with the occasional flogging or keelhauling .it brings out the Captain Bligh in me, I am told I over act the part at times (I don’t know what they mean) if these blogs suddenly stop it could mean I have been cast adrift in Doris, I do feel that although my style of leadership is rather dated it should be appreciated more!! Command can be very lonely, ahhh
We that's enough I am starting to ramble; I hope that my next blog will report significant progress toward the Azores and even some record runs. Love and best wishes to you all from
Paul and the crew of Libertad.