26 December, 2012

Christmas Greeting from Bequia

This is the second Christmas Malua has hosted Denny and Harry.  The last was in New Zealand in 2004.  We were alone in an anchorage and it did not rain nor did the wind blow.  Quite a different story from Admiralty Bay here in Bequia.  The food is similar - crayfish (lobsters) glazed ham, turkey, Christmas pudding and lots of Brandy butter.  (Thanks: The Southern Cross for the electric mixer and the vanilla essence).

To all our friends and others have a great Christmas time and a safe and flat water 2013.

May your sea passages be fast and your landfalls secure.

Pre Christmas Lunch

Christmas Dinner

Brandy Butter

16 December, 2012

Photos of Crossing

The photos taken on the crossing may be viewed here:


Atlantic Crossing Arrival Barbados

Atlantic Crossing Arrival Barbados

Malua is at 13:05.67N 59:37.06 at 1500 UTC on 11/12/2012
Distance travelled 2920
Distance to go NIL
Equipment broken - Nil
Sails torn – Nil
Lines worn through – nil
Equipment failure – Nil (one extractor fan blade broken due to my putting my finger in the fan!)
Water made and collected – half full tanks
Engine hours both propulsion and battery charging 154 hours (70 hours to motor through flat calm)
We finally arrived at 1500 11/12/2012 21 days 6 hours and 30 minutes after leaving Las Palmas Canaries.
The voyage had all the expected highs and lows. The vista from the cockpit is just awe inspiring from sun rise to sun set and the different shades of blackness during the night. We started with a full moon that would rise just before sun set and we ended the voyage with a new moon that rose just before dawn. The stars moved over head during the night. If you lay back at the start of your watch and looked up I could recognise the planets and some constellations. Jupiter was to the east with Aldebaran next to it. They moved westwards during the night across the sky. I never identified the north star Polaris.
We kept GMT/UTC time right through the trip but adjusted the time we started the nightly watch system to start one hour after sun set when it got dark. Piers would take the first 3 hour watch and I the next. I would always take the last at sun rise so he could sleep a bit longer. It worked very well indeed as we both adjusted to the rhythm of the day. If the night was bad we would catch a nap during the day.
We had great meals. Always had cereal when Piers woke with bead or toast. On Sundays the Master cooked a full breakfast of bacon, fried eggs, tomatoes, toast, marmalade and coffee.
Lunch was a mixed affair. If we had fish we had a light fish meal but generally it was cold. Some times I mad a tuna and bean salad eaten in wraps or as is. We had cold meat balls and some ham. Dinner was the main meal prepared an hour and a half before darkness. The prepared meals are just easy to have, so generally when we cooked some meat from the freezer we cooked more than enough so we could have the balance a few days later. I like a good French beef stew with a good flavour of wine and the herbs of Provence. We had a variety of potatoes from mashed – with lots of butter, to boiled to shallow fried or done in the oven. The variety was versatile and very tasty. The rice ranged from Basmati (piers favorite) to just normal always cooked by the absorption method of 10 minutes on a heat dispersion mat and then left to continue for an additional 10. Just right all the time.
Vegetables was not the strong point on Malua. They ranged from tinned peas, beans to cauliflower and peppers. Not a great selection.
Deserts varied from nothing to tinned apricots with cream – not well accepted by the crew who did not feel well the first night they were presented so associated them with rough seas. – more for Harry.
Fruit lasted well. We had a few oranges – cut in different methods – rugby or other. Tangerines were eaten after most meals while dates, dried fruit particularly were available for instant snacks.
We drank lots of water. I had three Fiji water bottles on the go at all times consuming about a litre during the night. It gor very hot in the quarter berth with little wind circulation. Piers drank water with lime juice.
I kept a log of the journey based on UTC time. Initially at 0600 and 1200 every day. It was generally a snap shot of the past hours so did not reflect the true wind or sea conditions which could very greatly but we did put comments along side. My daily report became confused because I would write about the past day in the afternoon of the next and like all bad events your memory only remembers the good times.
The highlights of the trip:
  • Swimming around the boat in mid Atlantic when there was absolutely now wind. The water is a deep blue as you peer into the depths knowing that the bottom is more than 3 nm below.
  • Motoring for 70 hours non stop to get out of the no wind hole we sailed into. The constant drone of the engine all day all night.
  • Day eight and nine when the sea was too lumpy to keep the main up and we reverted to polled out head sails. Our daily run dropped to 90 nm – not good.
  • The night the wind came up to more than 30 knots when we had a full main and a full genoa polled out and the seas built with a horrible chop on top. The waves threatened to come into the cockpit but did not. We had to watch the apparent wind ALL the time and adjust the angle or we would jibe which we eventually did!
  • The days we had the big blue spinnaker up all day pulling us along at more than 7 knots. And having to take it down when it got dark.
  • The pride in good seaman ship in arriving after 21 days and almost 3000 nm having not town a single sail, not broken a single piece of equipment and managed the power, water and equipment such that we require no repairs. That is an achievement. Well done crew.
We are no in Carlisle Bay Bridgetown Barbados. We sailed in with all ship shape like Bristol and dropped anchor. The watchmate told us that the anchor was not holding as we had breakfast so we pulled it up and headed towards a sand patch. Dropped the anchor right in a sand patch then Piers dived on the anchor to check and noticed a large steel industrial half wheel along the anchor line. I soon realised that we could turn it into a mooring. Out came the extra chain and the nylon mooring line and before you knew it we had made ourselves a permanent mooring. We left the anchor out just in case the chain parted but Malua is nor going any where in this gusty wind and rain squalls.
It was now time to check in. On inquiring where the Customs offices are at a few boat. The Canadians said we would have to take Malua into the large commercial dock and tie up there then go to Customs but they had checked in at Port St Charles and we should sail the 19 miles because it was much easier. The Germans pointed out we had broken the law and we were illegal immigrants and the authorities would take a dim view – however they did tell us where the Customs offices where. We set off in a heavy rain squall in the RIB and small outboard.
The cruise ship that had passed us during the night was taking on their passengers through the Customs hall as we made our way to the offices over looking the hall and duty free retail area. The official are very polite and knew the form and procedures. Tthey asked for our check out papers from Morocco which I had not received but I did have a form from Rabat officials that gave us a few months re-entry into the country. It was in Arabic script with English in the appropriate places. I convinced the Customs that that was the correct form that he required. OK now go to Health. “Has their been a plague on the vessel while on passage?” “Has any one died?” OK now go to Immigration who will stamp your passport. My Oz not UK passport was handed over so I had nor stamps in it while Piers was full of countries right around the world. The official had to search for a clean space. All formalities complete the Customs official leans forward across his desk and asked “ Will you do me a favour?” “Yes of course” “Go to the duty free and purchase three one litre bottles of Absolute vodka. Here is the money. ( the exact amount)” It was then that I knew I had him on my side. I duly went and purchased the vodka along with two large bottles of Mt Gay rum. Returning to the office I saw him close the binds of his office before I entered and the contraband was handed over behind closed doors.
We then walked out of the dock against the flow of passengers returning to their cruise liner only to be stopped at the exit gate by Customs who wanted to know what we where doing – “yacht checking in” OK you can pass. My large bag bulging with the local fire water rum was not noticed.
A magical moment on Malua

Atlantic Crossing 15 to 21

Day 15 Lost time is never found

Malua is at 13:23.05N 42:56.34W at 1200 on 4/12/2012
Distance covered 1922
Distance to go 975 nm
Daily run 120
There has been no wind since yesterday night. We have been under power since then. The engine is turning over ay 1500 rpm. The spead over the ground is just below 5 knots, with the wind speed indicator at 0.0 Luckily the sea is flat with a long swell so it is easy on the boat. The time we loose now will never be made up so we will arrive a day later. The other boats in our area are also experiencing no to little wind while the ARC boat further north and more to the east have had 10 to 20 knots of wind.
Time moves very slowly especially as it is hot and humid.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 16 All things come to those that wait

Malua is at 13:22.46N 45:02.10W at 1200 on 5/12/2012
Distance covered 2046
Distance to go 854
Daily run 124
We have been waiting for the wind for three days. No wind. The GRIB files downloaded over the sat phone shows an Easterly wind of about ten knots but the local Gods did not hear that so we wait.
I made bread again today with the Moroccan flour and it felt good as I was kneading it. It rose well but then during the proofing stage it would not rise again so we have a rather flat loaf. The taste and texture is good but it is not light and fluffy.
I also defrosted the freezer. I took all the frozen meat out, put it in a plastic crate and then wrapped it in an blanket and eiderdown. A small fan blew hot air into the freezer and onto the plate. What usually takes a full morning only took two hours so in went the meat again. We still have 3 kg of mince, 2 kg of beef for stews, 4 chicken breasts, chicken sausage and 2 kg of pork steaks. More then enough food. I cooked up some beef stew in the traditional French way with a good splash of red wine, herbs of Provence, mushrooms and a few carrots and onions in to taste. We had half this evening just after the sun set. Still hot but the heat was dropping.
I have rigged up the sun shades on the port side of the boat to keep the sun off the cockpit during the day. The forward hatch is open with the wind scoop up and all the hatches are open.
No wind. Last night I changed to the front diesel tank after running the engine for 116 hour since leaving the Canaries. Yes this is a sailing boat but no wind and we do want to reach Barbados before Christmas. In the days of old the seamen would have driven the horses over board by now ( we are in the horse Latitude) because they would have drunk too much water. We still have sufficient.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 17 Never look a gift horse in the mouth

Malua is at 13:19.3N 46:59.56W at 1200 on 6/12/2012
Distance covered 2116
Distance to go 739
Daily run 115
Well the wind finally arrived on day 17 ( I write this a day late) At dawn the wind came from the East and we switched off the engine after 70 hour of continuous running.
The day 16 was hot as hell with as you can imagine no wind. We were able to keep the hatches open as well as the port lights. But it still gets hot. In my quarter berth there is little or no air circulation so I set up a fan but I still drink a litre of water during the night. The water situation now that the generator is not working has held up well considering we shower every second day, Piers did some washing and we do keep a clean galley with everything washed up and stowed. The large water tank of 388 l has finally come to an end. The drinking water – in the stainless steel tank is down to the last few drops so that has left us with 250 l in tank 3 for the balance of the journey which we estimate will be 5 to 6 days. No more washing and no more showers unless we get a heavy rain shower or make water.
Sundancer is now hoping for less wind and less rain. The wind is taking its toll on their self steering. The battery is still low due to the alternator but Iain is happy with the situation. Their freezer has leaked refrigerant so they have no more cold beers and the food now has to be eaten. They had roast beef last night. The rain seems to come down in bucket fulls finding new leaks in their boat. Helen I understand would be happy to reach St Lucia tomorrow.
Malua is just happy to have some wind again. Our speed has picked up and we are pointing in the right direction.
Piers has now finished reading 15 books on his Kindle while I am rereading Solomon Time and A House Somewhere. I closed Slow Travel which is about a middle class Perth woman sailing through the poor countries of the world to try and help in east Africa. I didn't like the book when I first read it and now stopped half way. The sailing is boring and the land travel does not deserve comment.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 18 Make hay while the sun shines

Malua is at 13:1295N 48:57.3W at 1200 on 7/12/2012
Distance covered 2276
Distance to go 624
The wind finally arrived, not very strong but strong enough to switch off the engine and fly the spinnaker. We kept it up till after dinner of fried fish and chips with fried cabbage and onions.
The crew of Malua then settled down to a long night as the wind came up and the rain squalls moved through. Along with the wind came the swell so Malua is now slewing around as it races off down wind to Barbados. The max speed seen by Piers is 9 knots the average is over 7 and many times we reach the max hull speed of 8.4 knots.
Not much to report as we are both hanging on for dear life. Well it is not that bad because we can see our destination on the screen of the chart plotter.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 19 Every cloud has a silver lining

Malua is at 12:40.07N 51:31.9W at 1200 UTC on 8/12/2012
Distance covered 2432
Distance to go 475
Daily run 156
Along with the wind came the clouds and with the clouds the rain. First light rain then heavier showers and as always with the rain came the wind so we moved along at a very nice pace thank you. The speedo was reading 7 knots and many times 8.4 knots Malua’s maximum hull speed.
The miles just slipped away and when I look at the chart plotter map I can see our destination in the bottom right hand corner. We can see where we are going. The vessels on the westward net are arriving at their destinations having set off from the Cape Verde island at about the same time we left the Canaries. Many have still a day or two to go before they reach Antigua. Those are the yachts that are heading back to the States after a round the world trip so every mile covered is a mile close to the end of the dream and home. They express mixed feelings.
The ARC boat have had a dream run with wind consistently in the upper 20 knots. Sundancer the cunning dog of 30 Sydney to Hobart race is gaining on Charm Offensive who it seems to break some gear every time we talk on the net. They need to be careful the dancer may just beat them to the finish.
Last night I was aroused out of my watch mode by the alarm of the AIS. I haven't heard that for some time. It was a cargo vessel coming right at us at 11 knots and only five miles away. I could clearly see the vessel but could not make out their lights except the red port light. I called the vessel and got an answer who stated “Yes he could see me on his Starboard bow” I of course was on his port bow. I told him my coarse but he seemed to think I was going the same way as him. After a discussion that we should pass port to port I settled down to watch him on the radar pass 1.5 miles off my port quarter. I then noticed that the reason I could not make out his direction was he was not showing the proper lights. After some discussion I informed him to turn on his mast head light. OK OK. Then as clear as day the light came on and I saw exactly the direction he was going and how far off he was. Luckily we had AIS and radar. In the old days there would have been panic on board but there again a cargo ship would have a Master who would have the right lights on as he steamed the wide oceans.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 20 It never rains but it pours

Malua is at 12:40.39N 54:12.25W at 1200 UTC on 9/12/2012
Distance covered 2593
Distance to go 319
Daily run 161nm
The wins sure came as did the rain and the ugly sea. The morning was just Ok with clouds and increasing wind. By night fall we knew it was going to be a horrid night. The wind veered from the east to the north then back again to the south. The wind had now gone up to over 25 knots. Malua was surfing down the swells at 10 knots. The genoa was furled and we where just staying on track. It meant constant attention to the course or we would gybe which we did eventually. The autopilot could not cope with trying to keep its course, The off course alarm went off and Piers attended to that but the wind and waves had their way and over came the boom. The boom preventer snapped with a bang. I was out of my bunk in a flash at the wheel but could see nothing in the bitch blackness and the driving rain. I started the engine to try and get us back on course but the wind was pushing us off course. The boat was bucking like a horse but eventually we put a reef in the main, got all the lines squared away and tidy on deck. The rain continued to pelt down from the stern so we had to keep the companion way close.
After a while I gybed round again and we where back on course with Barbados less than a day away.
It was a long night that I sat at the captains chair guiding the boat down the swell and on the correct course but eventually the sun came up but the clouds and rain continues. I retired to my bunk and a well earned rest.
The sun is now out, the swell is still the same and the rain has gone. We have a single reef in the main and the staysail pulled tight with the bow pointing directly at Bridgetown.
Sundancer also had a bad night while Charm Offensive had their best run of the crossing – more than 200 nm. It helps to have four sailors on board.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 21 Arrival Alls well that end well

Malua is at 13:01.20N 59:22.05W at 12 00 UTC on 11/12/2012
Distance covered 2903
Distance to go 16
Daily run 156
We are almost there. The sun is almost up and we are charging along at almost 7 knots under two reefs and the stay sail.
We say land at 10:40 UTC with 24 miles to go at 13:01.819N 59:13.947W. It came right out of the clouds off the port bow. The cry Land ahoy went up and I woke Piers to come and have a look.
The sea was still up so we were slewing around making for the way point just north of The Shallows a underwater reef that can get nasty in bad weather.
Just then a cruise ship appears over our stern and we have to put on the motor to get out of his way. We pass ahead and with all the majesty of a large block of apartments they cruise by.
Within a few hours we arrive.
The state of our stores are: The is still a few pieces of frozen meat but no pre-prepared meals. Plus two fish meals.
We currently have:
Onions 5
Potatoes 6
Tomatoes Reddish 2
Peppers green 1
Cabbage 3/4
Cauliflower 0
Oranges 2
Mandarins 2
Lemons 9
Apples 0
We have more than enough tinned food on board to cross back again.
The greatest disappointment is the Moroccan flour which turned out to make a very poor quality bread.
A magical moment on Malua

Atlantic Crossing Day 8 through 14

A further extract from the mailasail blog 


Malua is at 18:22.86N 27:17.65W at 0600 on 27/11/2012
Malua has done 940 and has 1908 to go
Our daily run is 134nm
It has not been a great day on Malua because the sea came up and we reefed down to a polled out genoa and a small stay sail. Our direction is good but the waves are from all angles and the wind is barely up to 10 knots. It is difficult to move around and one has to wedge ones self into the bunk with two or more pillows if you want to sleep. I tried to sleep during the day but was not very successful so going into the night watch routine I struggled to keep awake.
I have changed the battery banks over so the fridge comes from the Bank 2 and the solar and wind generator also go into it. At the moment it is using between 2 and 4 amps.
We will keep this sail configuration while the sea is so confused but will loose miles. Tomorrow we will have to catch up.
A moment on Malua

Day 9

Malua is at 17:33.0N 29:19.2W at 0600 on 28/11/2012
Malua has come 1076 nm from Canaries
We have 1749 to go to Barbados
Today we changed our sailing strategy having expected to encounter stronger wind which did not eventuate we were running with twin headsails. The change is to a reefed main and a full genoa polled out with George steering the boat. Our days run was only 93 miles which is about 50 below our average so we will have to make that up over the next two weeks. French flour and only one cup of the Moroccan flour. The loaf turned out almost perfect (complet – French Integrale Spanish) but it was welcome for lunch which went well with the last of the fish. We will have to put out a line again.
Dinner was fried chicken breast al la Denny with Whole grain cream sauce. Just before dinner the full moon rose into the sky only minutes after the sun had set right on the bow.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 10

Malua is at 16:59.7N 31:47.0W at 0600 UTC on 29/11/2012
Distance covered 1225
Distance to go 1639
Days run 151 nm
Since we changed to a main and a poled out genoa we have increased our speed, the sea has gone down and the boat is not jumping around as much and we have increased our daily run to a healthy 151 nm above average.
We did not do much except read and sit around although around lunch time we put out the fishing lures and hauled in two rather nice wahi wahi – small but rather good. Piers got two smaller ones which we let return to the deep after their sleigh run to Malua. While I was reeling in the fish which I do from the port cockpit rail I lifted the rod, the fish rose up in the following swell and before I knew it the line was in the wind generator going round and round dragging more line from the reel. A quick grab at the safety knife at the wheel cut the line and a dive for the other end ensured we saved the fish for the pan. I had to stop the blades to untangle the line from the shaft and last quite a lot of line so now I have a knot at a critical point in the line – oh well the big one may just get away.
We are now 16 degrees west of Greenwich and the time has moved on so we set our deck clock to advance one hour. We still record everything in GMT time but my watch starts at 9:00 pm an hour later. It suits be better for I have some time after supper to settle down before it get dark.
Just before lunch a yacht appeared out of no where on the port quarter. I could not see them on the AIS so I hailed them on VHF ch 16. They turned out to be a Norwegian vessel CU @ Sea on their way to Barbados. We said we would keep in touch but before you knew it they had disappeared over the horizon.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 11

Malua is at 15:54.36N 33:59.64W at 0600 on the 30?11/2012
Distance covered 1370
Distance to go 1502
Days run 145
The swell has been up all day and night but we have been travelling rather well as seen from our daily run. The boat behaves itself very well and everything has remained in its place. The moon came up an hour after dark so the start of Piers watch was dark.
Unfortunately at around midnight the wind dropped away almost completely and we wallowed in the swell with the sails flapping. We dropped the main and rolled in the genoa and switched on the motor just to keep us on course and going in the right direction. That lasted all night however the swell dropped and the rock and roll subsided. I now understand why people after an Atlantic crossing just want to sit under a tree and feel the ground solid underneath them. Malua has many hand holds so it is not difficult to move around the saloon or to stand at the chart table or stove. I have only used the safety strap at the stove one evening to assist me balance but soon found it gets in the way more than it helps. Leaning against the sink and work area with the stove swing out on the side is the easiest position. My captain chair at the chart table is great. It is secure, does not move about and I can work the computer, radio and chart plotter without moving. I have raked it back a little and can snooze while not going out side.
A rain squall came through last night so Piers put the joining canvas up, the wash boards in and we adjourned below, he to his bunk and I to the captain chair. The rain soon stopped but it did not bring wind so we continued to motor till the sun came up and so did the main and genoa.
Our stores are looking good. The is still a lot of frozen meat and pre-prepared meals. Plus two fish meals.
We currently have:
Onions 16
Potatoes 17
Tomatoes Reddish 6
Peppers green 3
Cabbage 1.5
Cauliflower 1/3
Oranges 3
Mandarins 9
Lemons 11
Apples 2
A magical moment on Malua

Day 12 Patience is a virtue

Malua is at 15:25.09N 36:15.05W at 0800 on 1/12/2012
Distance covered 1507
Distance to go 1369
Days run 137
The wind died away and we waited and waited but soon ran out of patience so started the engine under the pretext of charging the batteries. As the sun came up we continued to motor over a flatter sea. The afternoon saw some sails but again at nightfall on came the engine and we motored again. We are not alone the boats who check into the westward net who are nearing their destination have not had wind for two days. One only did 53 nm in 24 hours. Some motor while others just wait.
The ARC fleet which is currently at 20 39N 29 56 W are experiencing strong winds of 20 to 25 and more. Charm Offensive have destroyed one foresail and damaged another. Sundancer has put in a temporary fix to their engine but pulled the head out of their main while shaking out a reef. What would you have no wind or too much.
Malua is going south – we are currently at 14 19 N to try to sail round a low pressure system which these other boats have sailed into. Hopefully down here the winds blow as Trade wind should!
As we go westwards the time changes. It is getting light later every day – one hour every 15 degrees from 0.0 Greenwich. I keep my watch on GMT but the deck watch which we eat by will change again tomorrow and we will put it back.
Still all is well on board. We are eating well, getting along well however it is getting hotter every day. It is currently 32 degrees C at 17:30 GMT.
No new news on the provisions except that I found some carrots in the fridge- more stores. Meat balls for dinner tonight.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 13 You are what you eat

Malua is at 14:30.85N 38:30.20 W at 0800 on 2/12/2012
Distance covered is 1650
Distance to go 1235
Days run 143
Today being Sunday we had the on passage traditional breakfast of beacon, fried eggs, fried tomatoes, toast with marmalade and good coffee. The stores are holding up well. We have sufficient bacon for one more Sunday so we had better get there soon.
The bread continues to frustrate me as it wont rise beyond a certain point so I am going to take a different approach tomorrow. Today I made scones for breakfast which were followed at lunch by the left over meat balls – made last night and some fried rice. Yes, you are what you eat.
It get hot during the day so I have set up a salt water shower on the aft swim platform to cool down. It does help. The fridge is working over time but seems to be copping.
The days run was quite good 143 with the main and the polled out genoa. We have been catching a cat in front of us at 100 nm over a seven day period. They only have 220 nm to go so we will see them when we arrive. After lunch we raised the large blue spinnaker and left that up until it got dark. It is just not prudent to leave it flying in the dark before the moon comes uo but anyway the wind was dropping. At midnight the wind completely dropped off and I furled all the sails and put on the engine. This continued through the night and all morning when a slight breeze came up so up went the spinnaker again.
The ARC yachts Sundancer and Charm Offensive are having 20 to 25 knots of wind with a gust over 35 during the night CM is hand steering for a good proportion of the time because of the strong winds and the angle they must sail. The yachts ahead of us have had no wind but it picked up today so they are all planning their landfalls. One of the company arrived at Barbados in the dark and went into the bay and anchored. They checked in the following day. So it seams as if it is quite easy.
A magical moment on Malua

Day 14 Step by step one goes far

Malua is at 14:10.45N 41:04.72W at 1200 on 3/12/2012
Distance covered 1802
Distance to go 1085
Days run 125
The only way one crosses a large ocean is one swell at a time. The wind was only 10 to 12 knots during the afternoon when we had the blue spinnaker up but as the sun set we took it down and the wind dropped away. We polled out the genoa and had the main on the starboard side with a gybe preventer. The moon only rose after midnight prior to that it was dark. When I came on watch at 0000 GMT I could just see a dark cloud astern of us. It smelt like rain so I was watching for a squall to come through. I started to see the wind swing towards the starboard side and adjusted the autopilot accordingly but not fast enough, the wind rose and got behind the main and before I knew it the main gybed breaking the preventer securing point – a safety feature. The boom swung over to the port side and the main started to flap. Piers was on deck in a flash only to see the main swing back again to the starboard side. The wind settled and we were back again on our 250 course to Barbados. A long night ahead except the moon then came up and I could see the storm clouds pass us by and go into the darkness. By daybreak the wind had dropped so I started the engine and we have been motoring ever since. The batteries are full but the generator is still loosing water from the radiator.
Time plays such a part when one is on watch but the balance of the time it just goes by. The radio schedules are all referred to as GMT or UTC which it is now called. We are at 41 degrees west of Greenwich so we are behind their time by almost three hours. We have adjusted the watch system to start at dark but the deck clock is still set at GMT so today we had breakfast at 11:00 GMT just after sun rise. From tonight we will adjust the deck clock by 3 hour and start to live a more normal life only referring to GMT when talking radio.
The winds seem to be light for most of the cruisers who left the Cape Verdes and are now approaching the Caribbean however the ARC yachts which are still at 20 degrees North and 36 degrees West are getting good winds of 20 to 25 knots. One never seems to be in the right place. We left the Canaries a week late but we could not have caught up the 10 days we lost in Morocco due to that bad weather. We expect to make land fall in 8 days time around Wednesday 12 or Thursday 13. – the Gods be willing.
A magical moment on Malua.