Still at sea

Paul Huntley
Sat 6 Jun 2009 11:40

38:38N 30:06W

Saturday 6th June 2009

Good morning, about 6/8 bottle nose dolphin came by and had a play in the bow wake; they are much bigger than the Porpoise father south grey on the top and white underbelly. Yes we are still out here battling our way to Horta, this must be getting boring for you but I feel you should share the good and the bad. After our fantastic spinnaker run of yesterday the wind deserted us once again leaving us becalmed throughout the day, dashing our hopes of an early arrival in Horta.I was on the midnight watch and we had only made two miles in the three hours before, the sea was glassy calm and not a breath of wind, the sails hanging limp and slating with every roll. Our fuel reserve was down to less than half on the second tank with a range of 50/70 miles at 2500 r.p.m. Our distance to run was 120nm. If I ran the engine over night on a calm sea we would get the best speed but if by morning the wind hadn’t arrived we would be left with no choice but to wait it out. I have one ace up my sleeve; a 30lt can of diesel squirreled away in the cockpit locker that only Guy and I know about, this is for emergency use only.

It is now 11:00 utc and the wind came an hour or so ago on Guy watch, I had written standing orders for the watches following me that if the wind came on or aft the beam at more than 10 knts, the engine went off and sail was hoisted. I l laid in my bunk listening to the regular beat of the engine just a few feet away when the revs dropped and replaced by the sound of winches turning. I leapt out of my bunk and crawled to the navigation station to check instruments and position, the wind was aft the beam and Drew, Guy and Mordicai were getting ready for a spinnaker hoist, the gamble may of paid off. We are now sailing at a respectable 5/6 knts on a course of 106 degrees straight for Horta.I won't give you an e.t.a. it would be tempting fate. We will get there when we arrive!

I have to make a position report now so I hope my next blog will be from shore.

Best wishes from us all on Libertad.