sun, sun, and no wind

Sat 15 Dec 2012 18:52
Boat position 13:58.18N 059:20.20 W Sort of abeam Barbados
At last I’m feeling well enough to venture back to the computer and spend sometime sitting down below without feeling too sick!
We are nearly there we think ... well, we have at least completed the greater part of the journey but we still have to do the equivalent of two times Hamble to the Channel Islands and I’m not sure we’d attempt that with only a hope and a prayer that we’d have enough fuel to get there and with no water in the tanks – although plenty of drinking water and extra containers of Gibraltar tap water.  We are down to tinned food and a few Spanish salamis that no one really likes – Tim made more yoghurt last night (which he’s very proud of) and even remembered to take it out of the pan/Graham’s airing cupboard on his night watch.  I will make some currant bun loaf thing for breakfast tomorrow with the last of the bread flour, we do have plenty of beer and wine as we haven’t drunk nearly as much as we’d anticipated.  We really hope to be in Martinique in time for a lovely french breakfast tomorrow – and a dinner tomorrow night – Stephen as Tigger will not be at all surprised to hear is suffering from a lack of fresh meat .....
The Atlantic ocean really is a vast place – I believe it contains about 23 percent of the world’s water, and as Mike Mc has told us it is as deep as Everest underneath us now.  We have been amazed at how few yachts, ships, planes, anything that we’ve seen – particularly since we left at the same time as the Atlantic Race for Cruisers which had 250 entries all going to and from virtually the same place.  This morning we saw three Bosun birds – very long tail feathers – and apparently a sign that we are getting close to land, and a couple of unidentified other birds we have decided to call ‘wandering albatross’ but Graham thinks they are probably are species of gannet – we should have brought a bird book!
I must admit to having some frightfully panicky moments during the trip – Graham opened an eye and sort of said we would survive – Tim pretended to be asleep – and Stephen just got on with it.  We all realised that we were totally on our own if something went wrong we didn’t even have our own personal Lymington coastguard to call for assistance (except to source a new gooseneck!).  My sister in law Caroline always says that panicking is what I do best so I did it to my best ability – and at times wished I had agreed with Mrs Maltby and Mrs Coleman and stayed firmly in Europe!  Now the West Indies and lovely weather are drawing close the dramas are beginning to recede and hopefully it will all be worthwhile.  I was very cross that I forgot to bring my unfinished tapestry with me as I thought I’d have masses of time on the foredeck stitching and thinking, but actually we seem to have had no time at all – Stephen had thought he’d learn the guitar, he didn’t bring one, but apparently Jack Aubrey spends his spare moments between wars playing the cello and reading poetry – Tim likes that but Stephen wishes he’d get a move on with his battles!  We haven’t read nearly as much as we’d thought – just too much to do (until the last two days), I’ve really enjoyed reading Ben Pester’s excellent book ‘Just Sea and Sky’ about his journey from England to New Zealand in 1953 – no email, no GPS, no lifejackets ...... real adventure but not for me I’ve decided!  Graham has been reading (very slowly) The World is Flat by some American and quotes us bits from time to time about the wonders of UPS Parcels or Google and I find  it all rather depressing – but apparently the theory is that it will help get rid of world hunger ... which would obviously be a good thing!  Talking of Graham – Simon Lavers will be interested to know, that he is now not only occupying the biggest cabin up in the front, the bottom bunk in Tim’s cabin (as an additional dressing area) and the main saloon berth as his main bed – for someone with I believe only 2 pairs short, 2 pairs of trousers and 4 t shirts that seems like a lot!  He also is the cleanest person on board dashing off to floss his teeth a minimum of four times a day and washing himself down with some wonderfully smelly shower gel that I feel he must have stolen from Jenny – then finally dousing himself with a good dollop of Johnson’s Baby Powder (for chafe).  Actually Stephen is seriously suffering from chafe between his thighs after his very exciting trip up the mast and gripping on to the shrouds with his legs!  Tim is also very clean and tidy but it’s difficult to know how many clothes he has brought with him as they are all identical – pale blue long sleeved shirts, and dark blue trousers – we think they must be police or prison officer uniform, and have now worked out that his soon to be son in law is an ex policeman and are sure he must have nicked some of his clothes!
Hopefully our next blog will be from Martinique .....