I had been planning a polemic on the delights of
sailing close hauled in 12 knots of wind: water fizzing under the bows, the boat
gently heeled and the Hydrovane doing the hard job of steering, making watches a
simple matter of staying awake for three hours.
However, as I sat down to type, the wind veered a
bit, pushing us onto a direct course for St Lucia, then backed a bit, then, with
a final twitch, it died away to nothing. we're now making a flukey 1 knot
through the water with the distinct possibility that the two fishing lines we're
towing are really putting the brakes on.
We were expecting a couple of days of fizzing down
south west, before being forced onto a westerly course by the veering wind, then
tacking onto a southerly course as the low went through and brought westerly
winds with it - a sort of zig-zagging effect. This was expected to play out over
the next couple of days, bringing us to within striking distance of the trades.
We'd had an excellent night of it, with Summer Song surging along under her big
gib and main at about 6 knots. Spirits were lifted - literally, in
fact, due to the Skipper's generosity with precious liquid stores yesterday
in an attempt to raise morale.
We polished off the last of the tuna in steak
format last night and eagerly got the line over this morning. As usual, the
first nibble came shortly after 7am, with line racing off the reel. The first
one got away, but sounded like a sizeable creature; the second was hauled in,
brough on board and discarded again for size reasons in what may come to be
regarded as a schoolboy error; the third also put up some fight before thrashing
off the hook. So, the fish count remains obstinately on one-and-a-half. Will and
Graham are hoping their generosity with the undersize mahi-mahi will be rewarded
heartily by Poseidon. Time will tell.
We're due a weather forecast shortly and will take
a view on motoring, versus thrashing about windless while we wait for a breeze.
We long for a reliable tradewind to get the spinnaker up - so much so that we
mistakenly rigged the chute when the wind got up yesterday, before realising
that we would have to be close hauled to make our waypoint. So quick off the
mark were we that we almost opened the chute with the wind ahead - it would have
been interesting to see how well Summer Song goes astern.
In another queer moment on the Skipper's watch, but
with Bosun Billy at the helm, Summer Song executed two perfect 360s due to
some imaginative Hydrovane setting. This saw the lure wrapped around the keel,
and we had to dispatch William over the side with goggles to unhook us. It must
be said that he proved well equal to the task, despite the water being 31
degrees and (just) warmer than the air below decks. With little wind, the cabins
quickly become pressure cookers...