Robin & Jenny Martin
Mon 29 Nov 2010 11:49
Not as advertised - the trade winds absent from duty
Anyone who claims a westward Atlantic crossing at this time of year from the Canaries is 'all downhill' in trade winds with romping easy sailing could in future be pursued under the trades description act. At least, though. we now have wind, and we are going in the right direction with just over 2000 miles to go. The frustrations of wind zithers and sail changes akin to a certain lady's undergarments have been replaced by grey skies, choppy seas and wind hard on the nose more reminiscent of the English Channel. The fleet, widely dispersed, had been contemplating over the radio net Christmas at sea. This has been replaced by reports of some 30 boats calling into the only marina in the Cape Verde Islands for fuel, so much having been consumed in the voyage to find the illusive trade winds. Fortunately Maymio could sail by, thanks to our judicous use of the engine and very long range fuel tanks.  This was fortunate for reports from those that did stop spoke of the marina running out of fuel and skippers scrounging fuel cans to carry diesel from the only garage. This was complicated by the immigration authorities stating that crews did not need to undertake immigration procedures 'as long as they don't go ashore.' 
The next few day will determine whether our dog leg course will pay dividends. In the meantime our routine on board has settled into an agreeable pattern. The black art of managing the Hydrovane, our automatic wind helm is being perfected, allowing Jenny to spend time making rock cakes for the ravenous crew, Robin to indulge in fishing (or the untangling of line from his reel) and Tony to plot the positions of our competition (or should we say fellow rally participants) all whilst operating at 45 degrees to the horizontal. However awkward this sometimes is, and even cleaning ones teeth takes a new form of dexterity, it beats working!