Trade Winds Have Died

Alan & Mary Phypers
Fri 3 Dec 2010 19:44

13:15.9N 29:58.9W


Friday 3rd December


Oh dear, after two good days heading west we thought we were on our way but the wind has died again.  The sea has also built up a bit of a chop so we are rolling around all over the place which knocks any wind there is out of the sails and makes progress very slow.  We have therefore succumbed and put the engine on.


We would have liked to sail all of the way but would also like to get to at least the final party in St Lucia before the rum runs out.


It sounds like you are all getting freezing weather at home which I presume is linked to the same Azores low which is causing our problems.  All the books say there should be a high over the Azores at this time of year which is what brings the trade winds but not this year.  We are potentially set to become one of the slowest years on record.


Since we left the Cape Verdes two days ago we haven’t seen or heard a single ship or other yacht.  We have however still been emailing other boats and listening to the daily SSB net where other ARC boats chat about their progress.  We can receive but not transmit and the reception can be a bit crackly making everyone sound like daleks but it is good to hear what everyone is up to.


It is really really hot which makes doing jobs really hard work.   We were all starting to get a bit smelly so now we have the engine on we can run the water maker and we have all had showers.  Mary has audited her knicker supply and is pleased that she has enough for another 20 days which must be enough.  Toby bought some spare t shirts for the trip which he has since realised are vest tops but no matter how hot he gets or how smelly his t shirts he refuses to wear them, lets see if he succumbs after another week of this heat!!!


We have plenty of food on board but could be in danger of running out of puddings which is worrying Alan.  Roger created a lovely dish last night – tinned peaches with muffins, yummy as the Diamante tins seem to have extra sweet syrup with them.  We still have to try to make some yoghurt.


Stella is holding up well and the only running repairs so far have been to service one of the winches which was sticking and to tighten a screw to fix the small leak in the diesel lift pump.  On the wild life front we have seen lots more dolphins and a bird flew into the galley sink but still no fish despite many reports of big catches on other boats.


We now have 1800 nm to go which at an average of 5.5 knots will mean we arrive on 17th December,  meaning we will have taken 26 days.  That will however only be possible if the winds pick up.  I have also just worked out, Alan and I met 10 years ago on 17th December so hopefully it will be a double celebration!