Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A little handout from Eole

I was expecting Eole, the god of the wind, to do us a little favour. And it did. But a really little one. This morning, he allowed us to sail due east, on a direct course to Horta for some 34 miles, but then again started to push us on the south side of the course. But there is some wind, like 10 knots and we now are only 262 miles from Horta.
At the noon fix, (14:00 UTC), our position was 37:47 N and 34:52 W, at 283 miles from Horta, hoping for an ETA on the 17th afternoon.
Now, hard to tell again. But we have 250 miles of fuel in the tank, and should the wind completely fail, we know we can still make it in good time.
If we can arrive before the morning of Saturday 18th, that would be great. We will have time to start on the repairs, do some purchases of parts needed and wash the boat. On Sunday we would do some touring on the island and on Monday to provisionning and works on the boat Monday, Tuesday and leave on Wednesday 22nd for a passage that is not supposed to take more than 12 days. That would make us arrive in Rouen on June 2nd, therefore leaving a little time to spare before Rouen to make a stop in Guernsey.
At night, it is colder and colder et the boat is very humid. In the day, with a little sunshine and some movements, it is bearable, but the night when you are sitting still in the cockpit, it gets difficult for organisms used to live in shorts and T-Shirt to gradually acclimate.
At lunch, Karen prepared for us a warm beans soup which was very welcome and got us a little warmer inside.
Otherwise, the day has been dull,, except on a few occasiosns during the night when we fell into a patch of no wind. At 10 knots, if the boat is moving, let's say at 5 knots, it gives us an apparent wind of 15 and we can keep moving. But if for one reason or an other, like the boat hitting a large wave, then it stops and the apparent wind fall to the same as the actual wind, i.e. 10 knots, and it is very difficult to restart this big 10 tons undersailed boat. It takes time, patience and concentration, and all along, you wonder if you will be able to regain some speed.
However, we should not complain. With very little wind, we did 137 miles over the ground yesterday, 137 the day before and 143 the day before. If we were sailing in the right direction, we might already have arrived. But you never sail direct. When we left St Martin, the distance to Horta, as the crow flies, was 2180 miles. So far, we have sailed 2573 miles and we still have probably more than 300 to go before we get there.
Tomorrow at this time, we will be within motoring distance from Horta and I hope to be able to write that we won't need it.

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