15 Dec 2012

[Captains Blog] Day 19 15N 54.3W Less than 400 miles to go!

A funny peculiar day yesterday - no wind, and what there was came from the west which meant we were heading straight into it. No real use from the sails, although we tried the new patented "Witting Wonderset", which basically utilises the foresail in the same way that we would use the main sail to enhance the use of the engine, trap whatever breeze might be available, and sneak a couple of extra tenths of a knot onto our speed. I spent the best part of 2 hours on my watch tweaking and twiddling the sails to get the best I could out of her in the vain hope of preserving our fuel a bit. No real success, the wind was being its usual fickle self and swinging either side of dead ahead. 

On the fuel front, as we have been somewhat becalmed and are likely to be so for another day at least, we are having to use the engine. We need to keep our revs down to 1200rpm to maximise our consumption rates per mile achieved. We currently have 3/8 of our fuel tank remaining plus 95 litres in jerry cans. Hopefully this will allow us to motor all the way in if necessary, but we are ever hopeful that mother nature will send us some trade winds to see us the final miles under sail. It is so frustrating that we are this close and the weather holds us up for an extra day or so. On the upside, it means we have a gentle roll to the boat instead of being thrown around inside the perpetual washing machine that has been our home for the past 3 weeks. We might even get some decent sleep.

Email has been playing up for days now, Mailasail apparently have some problems (courtesy of Bardeau, another boat fairly close by who wrote in their own blog) and so we are somewhat incommunicado. This blog will carry on regardless and will be uploaded to www.afloatonaboat.com as soon as we get the opportunity in St Lucia. In the meantime, life aboard goes on as smoothly as ever. The food stocks are beginning to look a bit sparse in some areas - breakfast cereals are mostly gone, a few weetabix and bran flakes left to start the day. Fruit juices are still plentiful, tinned products are still in abundance, so we won't go hungry. We might just have to eat some odd things at strange times of the day. However, we still only have a few days left before we get to our destination, and we know from prior experience that there is a good size supermarket in Rodney Bay to replenish our stores. Plenty of drinking water left too.