They used to say "if you don't know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else." We are at the opposite of this. We know very well where we want to go, but still we ended up somewhere else. However, since yesterday, the situation has improved a little bit. From noon to noon, we have closed onto Horta by 78 miles, a lot more than what we did the last few days. Now, it is a matter of not making mistakes in choosing the right tacks. It is somehow the same approach as in a chess game. You have to be able to visualize the next few moves and not only the next one. I am glad that we have Jean-Paul with us on board. He is an accomplished racer and I am sure that we will make the right choices. In any case, even with the best case scenario, I doubt that we could arrive before Saturday the 18th afternoon. And unless they have changed the order of the days in a week, the next day will most probably be a Sunday, with most businesses closed. And we have a list of minor repairs so long that in french we call it "longer than a day without bread". So we will be pressed for time if we want to leave Horta with enough time to make it to Rouen before the start of the Armada. It also implies that we will need a little more cooperation from the weather.
We are also getting great help from Claude of the "reseau du marin" (Ham radio network out of Montreal in Quebec). Claude, who is 72, is an accomplished sailor and in addition to the weather information that he provides, he also makes suggestions as to what tactical choice to make, and so far, he has been proven very right every time.
At noon today, (TU-2), our position was 37:40.3 N and 36:33.0 W. For the time being, we are heading true 020, and we intend to tack late this afternoon as we do not want to go too far north where the wind might be too light. On the other hand, we don't want to go too far south either, as it would add too much distance.
The water situation is back to normal. Since we left St Martin, we used 98.2 gallons, which is an average of 5.17 gallons per day. We have 118 gallons left, which is 20 days of consumption.
We have not used the engine for the last 9 days. The solar panels and the wind generator provide more electricity than we need for the freezer, the refrigerator, the computers, the instruments and the various other electric apparaturs. That means that we have no idea how the engine will behave when we start it. We had the over-heating problem, with loss of coolant. We also know that the fuel in the fuel tanks has been subjected to the same movements as the water, and therefore, I am worried that the fuel filters will get clogged a soon as we start. The last day I am expecting to run out of wind and therefore in need of motoring. We can just hope that we won't have to call "Tow Boat US", since there is none in the Azores.
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