Day 8 - Long 'Sunday Paper' type edition

Sun 30 Nov 2008 19:39


Well the main and exciting matter to report to readers of this organ (if there are any) is that I am now ‘Grandpa Gerald’! The splendid news is that son James and wife Patti produced one ‘Charlie’ yesterday weighing in at a healthy 8lbs 5ozs. The Dynasty lives on…… I am thinking of putting him down for an ARC entry in fifty or so years time!


The wind pattern is still that we need to head south. The Azores high is too high and there are some low pressure areas in the mid Atlantic. And the weather charts show a huge area in the middle with no wind in it at all. So we are going the long, dog-leg way i.e. Canaries to and past the Verdies and then turn right somewhere between 15 and 16 degrees of latitude and easing down to 14 degrees which is the position of St Lucia. At least that’s the plan. We crossed 18 degrees today in a S/W direction.


We know a number of boats are going this route because we hear them talking on the VHF. We try and join in but they can’t hear us. They are BIG boats with tall masts and therefore transmit further. We are just a LITTLE boat and our mast height is insufficient for the distance. It still surprises me how little we see other boats. The horizon is around 11 miles so with sail height that should give us, say, 30 miles plus all around. Last night we saw only 2 Navlights at around 5-10 miles away (we think we were going faster!) and today we can see only one sail in the far distance, probably one of the lights we saw(now seems to be catching up!).


We have been picking up the wind though and had the Parasail up yesterday afternoon and flew it until about 5 am this morning in a steadily increasing wind, so we got it down and went goose –winged again. We’ve averaged almost 6 kts since yesterday.


The trouble is that 130 miles through the water on this indirect route only gets 113 miles nearer to the destination. Much better though than getting nowhere by attempting to go straight across! Our progress at 13:00 today, i.e. a week after the start is 853 miles as the crow flies, leaving us 2022 miles to do. So the current estimate if winds hold down here is for an arrival between 14 and 16 December.


To help us catch the wind, we are flying as much canvas as possible –see pic below. And talking of wind, 30 November is officially the end of the Hurricane Season - so there’s some comfort to all!


A couple of e-mails have asked about our fruit/veg and food situation generally so more on that tomorrow. However I can tell that we caught and ate our own dinner last night – delicious!


Finally, I inform you that we put our clock back by one hr at mid-day today as we have been getting out of sync with daylight hours. We (boat time rather than strict astronomical time) are now one hour behind you in UK.




Extra canvas to catch the wind!                                                 Jock - The Para - setting the afternoon sail plan

                                                                                              St Lucia that way.........