No Wind No Diesel No Time

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Mon 27 Sep 2010 17:57
We set off Friday night after everyone had left and headed out into the blackness, hoisting the main just past Mew Island then then running downwind with the yankee, but the wind didn't last long. The GRIB files speak with forked tongue, not just forked arrows and the 15-20kts from the North never materialised, it was just freezing bloody cold at night.
We motored all the way, day after day, hour after hour, wind as little as 1kt, usually 3-4kts never over 5kts. I asked Mike if the 5kts was the same as a Force 5, but he said no, cos it doesn't have the F word, so we motored on. We left Dartmouth with 40 engine hours and the first service due at 50 hours, so I had a go and changed some oil at 50 hours, then Mike and I had a go and changed some more oil at 75 hours, but still couldn't undo the filter, eventually the local garage in Baiona lent me their filter wrench - job sorted.
It was such as shame for Mike, we hoped to give him a real rollercoaster ride, but at least he saw hundreds of dolphin, a couple of whales and had his own phosphoresce show in his toilet at night.
He was impressed with my pole through, even though I now use some guy ropes to keep it up all night, he was impressed how rigid and stable it was and I know he wishes he had one like it.
In the end we had to make some choices about landfall, cos we were low on diesel, needed to get Mike to Oporto airport by Tuesday evening, I had to do a few fuel / wind / ETA calculations and had to run into Baiona and put him on a bus - an ignominious end to a long motor trip on a yacht across one of the lumpiest seas in the world, that was glassy calm - once again our second time of crossing.