17 Dec 2012

[Captains Blog] Day 21 14.5N 58W Less than 200 to go

Last night we experienced the best ever sunset - simply spectacular - it seemed to us that the whole sky was aflame, and the red glow spread across the sky as far as the eye could see. As time went on, the colours got redder and deeper and it looked to is as though there was a volcano in the distance and the red clouds were like layers of molten lava across the face of the mountain. It was absolutely awesome.

Also, I don't know whether or not I witnessed the death of a star. I was up on watch between 03:00 and 06:00 and sometime in the period, there was a brilliant flash in the sky over towards the ENE from me. A single point object was glowing red, then yellow, then green, and then it disappeared altogether. The intensity of the light was very strong and that part of the sky was very bright. I'll have to look it up in the news; maybe I saw a moment in stellar history. It all seemed a bit star wars to me.

Our attempts to catch some supper have been fruitless, we managed to get a bite yesterday, quite a large fish leapt out of the water having taken a bite of the lure, but it didn't get hooked. Subsequent attempts to catch anything were to no avail.

We put the ship's clock back an hour last night to bring us in line with St Lucia time (UT-4). We are in the home straight now, the wind is due to return to us today and hopefully will send us on into St Lucia. We have been out of email contact with the world for a few days now, something has gone wrong on my laptop and the port that the modem uses thinks it is already busy. Thankfully, we have been receiving update texts from our friends in the real world that let us know the weather prospects and we have been acting on this info.

For the first time since leaving the canaries, we can see two other yachts on the horizon at the same time. The convergence of the boats on the Martinique passage to the north of St Lucia seems to be everyone's target. We should see more as the day progresses. We have half a tank of fuel left plus the 10 litres I have kept for emergencies in reserve. That should be plenty for the remaining part of the crossing, and there should be no issue here. The extra jerry cans I bought in Las Palmas were definitely a good move and have paid dividends. We have passed other boats that were progressing under sail alone, and not covering any distance. Perhaps their spare fuel quota wasn't great enough. The recommendation was for 5 days of motoring, we allowed for 7-8 in our calculations. Thank goodness we did.

We ate pork (and pork sausage) cassoulet for our dinner last night, just about all our fresh food stocks have gone now, and we are down to tinned products. Not too much of a burden. Fray Bentos night again tonight for our last evening meal aboard. Tomorrow we will hit the restaurants ashore ...