Atlantic Crossing – Day 167

Blogger: Mariel
Date: 27-Feb-2020
Location: Drifting around in the middle of nowhere
Total to Date: 2124nm (782nm to go)
24 Hour Run: 97nm (oh dear)

Well, no whales to finish off yesterday as a perfect day, but today has been great for this mermaid because we have been becalmed! Hooray! (Irish John says it is bad KARM-A in response to hanging our fishy-friend’s tail off the backstay as a trophy yesterday.)

Celebrating the doldrums? What is this nonsense, I hear all you sailors proclaim. Well, when we have insufficient wind to use the parasail (despite another full on morning of rigging and blowing wind into the sail as hard as we could), and barely enough wind to use the mainsail (and even then, not in the right direction), and enough fuel to motor for 2 days but not the 5-6 required to reach Martinique, we call defeat and have a hot and lazy lunch bobbing around in the deep blue sea, noting that the current is pushing us along only 1 knot slower than we have managed to sail all morning, and in exactly the direction we had been aiming for.

Skipper Gill asked for our opinions as to the next course of action. My vote was for a cup of tea, time to digest lunch (potato salad using leftovers from last night’s fish’n’chips, and cheese and crackers), then a swim in the sea before re-assessing at 3pm.

Irish John thought I was mad, and threw a few buckets of water over himself rather than risk the sharks, and John D went below for a lie down (after a sleepless night listening to unusual sounds coming from Paul and/or the rudder – possibly only audible thanks to the lack of other sounds for once, bar the lapping of the ripples against the hull).

I located the step fender in John’s room of tools, stores and supplies, changed into my bikini, and then jumped overboard – wahoooo!!! I have been dreaming of this for a long time – the three weeks since we left Lanzarote is the longest I have gone without swimming in the sea for… months? Years?! I very nearly jumped in yesterday evening whilst having a wash on the side deck, but decided that 3-4 knots might be faster than I could swim to catch up with the boat again.

The water was warm, and diving down there was nothing to see but blue blue blue. No sign of any sharks (other than Grandpa Shark in his speedos on the aft deck), or, alas, any of the dolphins that lazed in the waves off the starboard beam this morning. Gill came in to join me for a while. John D looked very tempted having been drawn back on deck by our whoops of joy (I saw him sitting on the edge checking his pockets in case he was taken by a sudden urge to push off).

We clambered (very elegantly) back on board. I went below for the shampoo and washed my hair, then jumped overboard again to rinse it off. Heaven.

But all good things must come to an end (especially if we want to reach Martinique before all our food and water runs out), and now the engine is on and we are making 6-7 knots in the right direction. The forecast suggests that this should be the day of least wind, so we hope to be able to try out the carefully rigged parasail again tomorrow. For now, we are crossing our fingers for at least a few knots of wind overnight, to avoid having to motor (which makes the boat even hotter and more uncomfortable to sleep in than usual – night watches have been a relief to escape the sauna-like conditions the past couple of nights), and to be able to sail without too much flapping of the main. (At one point yesterday evening, there wasn’t even enough wind to fly the battered little flag on the dam buoy – a very depressing sight).

Sending lots of love and some of our hot sunshine and clear blue skies homewards, in return for some of the winds that you are no doubt experiencing, as another Atlantic Tropicbird circles overhead.

G, IJ, J and M

Use with SHOW JOURNEY to track our progress.

One thought on “Atlantic Crossing – Day 167

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