16 Dec 2012

[Captains Blog] Day 20 14.5N 56.75W Becalmed with 240 miles to go

Frustrating! We are nearly there and the wind has died on us altogether. It was forecast, but the sight of the Atlantic Ocean as smooth as a millpond is somewhat unexpected. I was on the 6-9am watch this morning, and the sun hadn't risen by the time I was on duty. The atmosphere was positively ethereal. There was a mist hanging over the water, another yacht was forward on the horizon, with its tricolour masthead light twinkling through the gloom, the water was dead calm, and I was totally at peace with the world.

Then the sun came up, and I was treated to the most magnificent sunrise, a mackerel sky overhead that has since disappeared as the sun has warmed up the skies. The clouds have all but disappeared from overhead and the temperatures are rising. It is going to be a hot day. We have put 40 litres of diesel into the tank from jerry cans, which leaves us with 10 litres in reserve and a tank that is three-quarters full. Enough fuel to motor for 2.5 days. Hopefully that will be enough to sustain our progress towards Rodney Bay and hopefully the winds will pick up to allow us to turn off the engine and sail again.

Last night, after sailing over 2500 miles from Las Palmas, we ended up less than 1 nautical mile from the East Martinique mid-Atlantic weather buoy. We knew it was in our vicinity, but with all the hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean, we ended up having to keep a sharp eye out for the yellow lights that would indicate its presence. It seems a bit like parking in a multi-storey car park where there is only one other car on the same floor, and you somehow end up reversing into it. Things like this never cease to amaze me.