Wednesday, 7 December, 12.00
Wed 7 Dec 2022 12:26
Any good sailing account should start with tales of big seas, lashing winds and sea hardened crew. Well, not this one. This is a tale of a week of easy trade wind sailing and then NUFFIN. No wind, zero wind, contrary light wind, squalls and oven hot heat. One gallant crew member has even sunk to the despairing depths of eating a pot noodle.
No winds, not a problem, if you’ve got 1000 l of diesel. The good ship, Action Penguin, has 430. The engine is on now at low revs, low speed to eek out the fuel reserve. Last night the engine wouldn’t fire up - disaster. But with Derek deep in the cockpit locker the bad electrical connection was found. Much joy on board as the familiar engine chug sang it’s song again. A happy song.
Last night was a tough night. Dark, lots of squalls, lashing rain, no wind, to much wind, wind from what ever direction the squall chose to chuck our way. Oh, the delight of day break and the squalls wandering off stage to join a nasty weather system towards the Azores.
The boat navigation etc is all based on UTC times. However the sun is lazy and gets up later every day. To get some logic to when we eat, start watches, we’ve moved time on board back two hours (it will be 4 in St Lucia). All very confusing but …
We’ve caught lots of Sargasso weed, that floats in large rafts, but no fish. One ARC boat boasts catching a 15 Kg tuna. We’ve gone one better than that with around 30 tins of tuna already processed in our lockers.
One surprise. Prior to AIS we thought, when crossing the Atlantic, that it was empty. This morning we have 4 small boats within 20 miles us and one big tanker went by an hour ago. Without AIS and radar, yachts only become visible 1 - 1 1/2 miles away and big ships 3 to 4 miles away. We don’t keep watch on radar but do use it when squalls appear to see their size and position. There not over aggressive, so far, so just go through them to avoid wasting diesel and progress going around them.
Despite all this we slowly creep west. At the weekend we had 1000 nm to go. Now only 520. Derek planned to meet Elaine when she arrives on Friday. Great plans don’t survive the heat of battle - we will have the pleasure of Elaine greeting us.