Transat Day 16
We have had absolutely no wind for
the last 24 hrs. We’ve been running
the engine, but we’ve only got fuel enough for another 12hrs max – and this has
to last us the whole way so if we get becalmed further down the track, we’re
buggered. I’ve reduced the revs to
conserve fuel but it is a futile gesture.
The forecast is depressing. We are right in the middle of a
small low pressure cell, meaning there is no wind around us and little forecast
for at least the next 24hrs. The
most depressing thing is that the boats 150 miles ahead of us appear to have
good NE Trade winds, blowing them towards their destination. I know how ocean racers must feel when
they see the leading boats charge ahead whilst they are sat with their sails
slatting. The ARC weather forecast
says we should have 12-20kts of wind, but I’ve given up relying on them as they
have been consistently wrong since the start.
A nasty cross-swell came in
overnight, which has added the insult of uncomfortable rolling to the injury of
no wind. It suddenly hit me, on my
watch in the middle of the night, that you just cannot beat the elements, and
that they have us in their grasp, with no compassion or mercy. They’ll hold us here as long as they
want to, before releasing us. We
may be becalmed for days, engine or no engine, and no-one will show any mercy if
we are rolling from gunwhale to gunwhale.
I think the next 48hrs could be the most trying period of the whole
It does make you feel very
small. Consider the fact that there
is no-one to complain or appeal to, no-one to sue, no escape route, no-one but
ourselves to get us out of this position.
How many times are any of us in that position in our daily lives? Pretty-much never.
My biggest frustration comes from
knowing that Sarah is leaving behind all her friends and family today, to fly
out to St
Lucia, where she will have to wait, on her own,
for more than a week before we arrive.
I hope she is OK and meets up with other people waiting for their
husbands / wives / friends.