Down in the Doldrums

Rumpelteazer Pacific Crossing
Robert Holbrook
Sun 2 Mar 2008 19:21





We still have 2,300 miles to go to the Marquesas, motoring at around 5.5kts with very little wind. We had an all-too-brief bout of sailing yesterday with winds of around 7-10 knots on our port bow.  Travelling at speeds of up to 7 knots for around 10 hours without the sound of the engine was delightful and gave a great boost to on-board morale.


We have yet to pick up the wind we so badly need, and which the gribfiles tell us is around 100 miles away, coming in from the south.  We have altered course to between 210° and 230° magnetic to go find it.


The last two days have been less sunny (although still very warm and perfect weather for drying Max's washing) with around 60% cloud cover today.  Nights have been cloudy too, with less opportunity for star-gazing and a much darker, moonless sky as company for those on night watches.


The catamaran – Kepa II - which left the Galapagos twelve hours behind us, has been texting us on Irridium, and is further south than we are, possibly in better winds.  More than a hint of competitiveness has broken out on Rumpelteazer and we are trying everything to get an extra knot of speed, while preserving our scarce diesel and pushing as far south as we can to get closer to the promised wind.


Fishing has stopped for a while after we caught a 20lb tuna last night and decided we were ‘tuna’d-out’.  We have had tuna for our past three meals and are looking forward to a Sunday with no tuna at all!  We’d thought we’d mastered the art of catching mahi mahi, but this seems to have been optimistic.  Maybe next week…..


For those interested in such matters – our fresh vegetables and fruit bought in Panama are beginning to disappear.  Our elevenses smoothie has seen its last papaya, and until the green banana tree we bought in the Galapagos is allowed to ripen (currently asleep under a canvas sheet in the dinghy on the stern), we have had to rely on the ripe bananas from our original tree which Robert had usefully suggested we stick in the deep freeze. We had a delicious water melon for elevenses today, and have four big pineapples beginning to require eating.


Most of our fresh veg has passed on, but we still have some courgettes, tomatoes and the end of a last lettuce.  Still going strong are our potatoes, and garlic, and the carrots, onions, cabbage and rather strange waxy potatoes we bought in the Galapagos.  After last night’s stir-fry to accompany the tuna, we are looking forward to Rumpelteazer’s special chicken curry night this evening.


Happy Mothering Sunday!