Date: Thursday, 09 December [13:30 UTC]
Facts and figures:
- Distance to go to St Lucia: 916 miles (now past that magical
- Day’s run 10:30 – 10:30: 180 miles (latter part of day stable winds E-NE
F4 - F6)
- Depth: 4000 meters
- Closest land – French Guyana (South America): 660 miles
- Distance from Cape Verde: 1187 miles
- Temperature: 29 degrees centigrade
- Relative humidity: 63%
- Ship’s time is now –3 hours UTC
We are now 916 miles away from St Lucia and
we are still firmly in the grasp of the E-NE trade winds. For four days now, we
have been able to maintain good daily runs of 140, 134, 180 and 180 miles
‘Ocean Hobo’ (an Amel Santorin 46’ ketch) is
proving to be a very stable, comfortable and fast down-wind yacht. It goes
without saying that she does require wind! We are having to run the main engine
for 3 –4 hours each day to keep the batteries charged. As mentioned in an
earlier blog entry, the propeller driven shaft alternator isn’t working, which
is a great pity.
‘Hebe’ the Hydrovane self-steering gear has
been a disappointing acquisition so far. Despite re-aligning the unit on the
yacht’s transom a week or so ago, there is still some misalignment with the
Hydrovane rudder, which interferes with the yacht’s steering. This will require
some detailed analysis when ‘Ocean Hobo’ arrives in St Lucia.
Just before dusk on Wednesday evening, we saw
some dark sails ahead of us. We caught up with a small Dutch yacht (a sloop
rigged Midget 26’), which is being sailed single-handed by Ankar (a Dutchman)
and his cat! He had left Mindelo (Cape Verdes) on 24/12 bound for Barbados.
After a lengthy and jovial conversation with Skipper Ivan (including a detailed
discussion on the merits of Irish and Scottish whiskeys), he decided that he
would set course for St Lucia to enjoy a bit of social engagement before Xmas.
Ankar isn’t sailing in the ARC, but is taking 3 – 5 years to see the world!
Hopefully his cat will live long enough to enjoy the trip!! (you never know when
you might need replacement fan belt)
Shortly after sunrise today, a Swedish 46’
Swan (beautiful sloop) past our stern en-route to Barbados. They aren’t
participating in the ARC, but doing their own thing and enjoying the downwind
Even though we are just under 1000 miles from
our destination, it is an amazing experience coming into close contact with two
other yachts mid-ocean.
Apart from a whisky crisis on-board, we are
now out of porridge oats! Cabin Boy Jimmy has provided the main crew with a
daily ration of gruel since leaving Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Bosun Dermot
continues to enjoy his hamster muesli! (Thankfully, none of us have the task of
cleaning out Dermot’s cage!). Daily lunches and dinners continue to be dreamed
up by Jimmy and Dermot. Healthy servings of grub are dished up daily.
As conditions have been a bit on the rough
side for the past day or so, fishing has been postponed. First Mate Mike has
been champing at the bit to get at the fishing again, and has been dreaming up
all sorts of fish catching schemes (all theory at present....!). The blog will
report on the practical application of these theories in due course.
The Ship’s Doctor (Dr Joe) has been holding
daily clinics for all able seamen. No signs of scurvy or other strange ailments
have been reported as yet. A few ‘crusty’ faces have been reported, but
otherwise all well.
The highest records boat speed has been
achieved by Skipper Ivan and Ship’s Engineer Charlie during the 00:00 – 04:00
watch. They attained 10.6 knots.
Kind regards from Skipper Ivan and the