20:16.81N 22:01.65W

Thu 25 Nov 2010 12:45
Well I never! I'm shocked, stunned and feel a little bit cheated! Here we are in the most abhorrent conditions for a sailing yacht, no wind to speak of, and I sit here every day collating our position, watching boats sail by us and trimming our sails to within an inch of their life to try to just hang onto the fleet. I was thinking, perhaps I'm in the wrong job if I can't stay with these boats, a lot of which are much smaller than us and still they sail straight by. What on earth am I doing wrong?

They cant possibly be using their engines this early on? Their range on their fuel cannot be any where near long enough to sustain this sort of burn rate for the duration to St Lucia.

Then, in the mid morning sun today, while we are eeking out 6-7knts out of 8knts of breeze, flying close hauled with our gennaker which shouldn't work, but its bloody marvelous (thankyou north sails, good job on that one) I happened upon a radio transmission from 2 boats which I shall not name. It pretty much ran to the following.

Yacht A "Good morning, hows it going?"
Yacht B "Yeah good. Fishing and motoring and heading for Cape Verde for Fuel".....
Me..."You WHAT????????"
Yacht A "Oh we bunker 1300 litres of fuel so we dont need to. We've used 1/4 of a tank at 1500 rpm."
Me... "You WHAT????"
Yacht A & Yacht B (yada yada yada OUT!)

OK, Let me explain these 2 circumstances. I've been hoodwinked. I foolishly assumed that everyone, like me, would have an overwhelming urge to do this crossing using sail power alone.....It's not true, no- one else does.
Yacht A has used nearly all their fuel, as I dont know how much they had I can't clearly comment, but I would think they've put in a few days under motor.
Yacht B have certainly been powering along happily for 2-3 days to have burned 375 Litres at 1500rpm. Our consumption is 6l per hour at 1500rpm and we have 150bhp engines. Thats 62 hours minimum engine usage, aaarrrrgh! 2 and a half days!

Anyway, rant over, but really, I never! It turns out a large proportion of the fleet are doing the same, all heading to CV to refuel.

Me, I'm gonna stick to my guns and keep running people up and down the mast to tighten leach lines, getting people out of their bunks for sail changes numerous times in the night, and just generally SAAAAAIIIILLLLLINNGGG damn it!-)

So, how are we doing? I don't know today as I've not yet picked it up, but rest assured it won't be all that pretty, however, we WILL find wind soon and we'll be all the happier for it.

Numerous swimming sessions going on when we aren't moving and gym sessions when we are. Good food, nice company, hot sun and heading to the Caribbean...... All in all, not a bad days work.

Love to all from all aboard

The crew of LBB and their moaning, ranting captain!-)

PS. We're all loving it really..... oh apart from we are short on yoghurt and oranges....... but we have loads of unpopped popcorn! . . . Well done team;-)