Lack of speed taking its toll

Rumpelteazer Pacific Crossing
Robert Holbrook
Wed 12 Mar 2008 21:51




We have just had our two slowest days since we left Panama.  Rumpelteazer has averaged 6.5 and 5.4 knots and travelled 157 and 131 miles repectively in the last two 24 hour periods.  At midday today we have 1,020 miles yet to go to the Tuamotus, and our eta of 17th March is not looking so good.


During supper last night we talked about what we might put in today’s blog – it soon became obvious that we should be honest and tell it how it is.  Our lack of speed is beginning to take its toll on crew morale – the actual words used were ‘boredom’, ‘restlessness’ and ‘apathy’. 


Although we’ve been at sea for 22 days (including a 10 hour stop in the Galapagos), time has not been difficult to fill, but that is beginning to change. Max even took up baking, briefly, producing some interesting but nonetheless tasty flapjacks.  Fortunately we are not yet tired of listening to Blackadder Goes Forth, despite having heard it through 3 times so far.


What to do?  The wind has steadily dropped to its current strength of between 7 and 10 knots from the east.  We are still sailing dead down wind, goose-winged, mostly on a port gybe but occasionally on starboard.  We are travelling west at around 5 knots on a bearing of 255° with a gentle following sea and even gentler easterly wind.  Yesterday we briefly put our symmetric  spinnaker up, but it gave us very little additional speed, and with winds rising to15kts (sweet memory!)  there were worries about putting too much strain on it, so down it came again.


Robert is doing a great job of trying to keep up crew morale.  He’s just cooked a delicious brunch of bacon and scrambled eggs.  Having serviced and repaired several of the lifelines, he is now running a masterclass for the crew in servicing winches.  Oh joy!

On a more positive note, sunsets and sunrises have been delightful, with particularly pleasing yellow/pink/grey formations on the horizon providing those on the 3-6am watch with glorious visual entertainment.


Finally a big thank you to all our readers for their feedback – from as far afield as Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and the Isle of Wight – we value it all!