Two weeks into the ARC and still no trade winds.

Robin & Jenny Martin
Sat 4 Dec 2010 12:39
Maymio continues to search for the elusive trade winds. This has prompted Robin to propose an ARC version of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' beginning with my true love promising "one trade wind" followed by "two duff weather forecasts," "three Atlantic squalls," "four sweaty calms" etc. This year could turn out to be the slowest ARC on record. The previous slowest crossing recorded was 33 days and this will almost certainly be broken; our delightful Swiss next door neighbours in Las Palmas marina are some 500 miles behind us and we still have 1500 miles to go.
Despite any frustrations with light winds we are in very good heart with plenty of fuel, food and water. We are savouring the last of our fresh fruit and being extremely cautious still with our use of water. It is alarming to discover the colour just one pint of water will turn after a strip wash in this hot and humid part of the world. Better that, however, than snow!
Our diesel generator which supplies electricity has decided to stop working. This is not a disaster as there is a back-up system with the main engine but it is inconvenient. The marvels of the satellite age allowed Robin to speak directly to the manufacturers in England to be told a capacitor had failed. Robin had previously surmised as much as a gooey, grey treacle had oozed from an inaccessible box next to the generator; to Jenny and Tony the defective item looked like an out of date tin of baked beans with no wrapper, such is our expertise in such matters.
Despite our seclusion in mid Atlantic we are not without visitors.
During a particularly dark night watch Tony thought something had fallen on the cockpit floor; leaning down to pick it up he was shocked to find it was alive. A flying fish had paid an unexpected visit whose return to the ocean did not do credit to his flying abilities as he (no doubt gratefully) was thrown tail first back into sea. We often see these extraordinary creatures leap from the side of a wave as the boat encroaches on their peaceful life. Occasionally squadrons take off together and glide in formation for more than 50 metres before disappearing beneath the sea. The kamikaze fish dive onto the deck at night only to be found the following morning with a shocked _expression_ on their faces.
Our other visitors kept us entertained for an entire afternoon. Two days ago a lone white bird paid a visit and circled the boat more than a dozen times before leaving only to return yesterday with his mate. Presumably he had decided the natives were friendly and the bus was going their way for they landed on the guard rails, wobbled rather precariously for a while and then made themselves more comfortable on deck. They looked like egrets with log pointed yellow beaks and we guessed they were a he and she even though we christened them Eric and Ernie. Perhaps it was Erica as one had a sticky up crest  and the other a Mohican with pink highlights (Bill Oddie eat your heart out!). They stayed preening themselves for about 6 hours, declining our offer of fresh water and bread, and flew off at dusk into the sun set.
Now onward west with the search for wind.