Atlantic crossing 16

Thu 14 Dec 2006 13:50
Wednesday 13th. A very frustrating day. A slight puff of wind in the morning
which died away completely by about 2pm. Engine running all day except for a
bit of respite while we had a pasta and salmon lunch, prepared for the
second day by Alex, very nice it was too. The fuel situation is roughly
enough for 400 miles with 500 to go. We just scraped our 120 miles yesterday
and hoping for the same in the 24 hours till 10 am Thursday. Great
excitement via email as everyone makes their way to Gatwick for the flight
to St.Lucia. The London contingent plus Ma from Truro. They arrive there on
Friday and we hope to join them on Sunday, weather permitting. Today is
unbearably hot and I am making a nuisance of myself by trying to make
headway and blaming the crew because we are not making any. Alex suggested I
try to relax having done all I can, sage advice. Many of the bigger boats
have already arrived, just before the wind died, we are far from last so can
only do our best. Victor saw a very big bird this afternoon but no sign of
it when we rushed on deck ? difficult to see against the sea I expect. Still
trying to catch a fish but nothing yet. Thursday. Motored all night but
breeze has come up and now doing 5 to 6s in bright sunshine, that's better.
As we approach our destination the old familiar thoughts are starting to
crowd in. Woke up in the night in a panic as last waypoint is approaching
(400 miles away) and don't have a plan for after that, immediately saw us on
the St Lucian rocks or running up on some surf beach. 3am found me at the
chart table with the new chart and notebook. Put the new waypoints into the
GPS. Familiarised myself with the coastline round Pigeon Island with my
magnifying glass, made a few notes re the finish line approach and went back
to bed. Must have taken all of 20 minutes. Phew, that's a relief ! The
twistle rig that has done us proud for 2500 miles will have to come down
soon as the wind is coming increasingly from the Stbd. quarter making it
difficult to prevent one side from backing. Steering a very accurate course
is the answer but the vane can sometimes wander for a mile and then come
back, no problem in the ocean but now we are trying to sharpen up ? Reckon
we will be ok for today though, too hot to do much anyway. Going to do a sun
run sun with the trusty sextant and a little fishing as long as its not to
arduous. The sun sights will probably put us in the Thames estuary but what
the hell, make a dot through the Yeoman plotter and problem solved. If the
forecast is correct and the wind stays like this our fuel problem will be
solved as well, all in all, not too scruffy. When we get to St Lucia going
to smile and smile and smile, well, wouldn't you ? Manny. ps for the
sailors, managed to do our 120 last night but made a lot of noise doing it.
Also, radio Cornwall are threatening to contact us via satphone tomorrow
morning at 7.50am for the early breakfast programme, don't hold your breath
though. M