Helen - Ed's last day on Yacht Helen
We have 130 miles to go, so we will be over the finish line in the morning. That's where I get off and seek a boat for my next adventure.The fishermen on board our boat are strange. It took two of them two weeks to catch three fish, two of which we could not eat.This morning I was sitting on the deck when three flying fish landed near me for my breakfast. Why are the humans so slow when fast food is so readily available?This year's ARC+ has had less wind than usual which means using fuel to power the engine on the quiet days.It's over 2,500 miles from the Canaries to St Lucia with only one fuel station on the way. It is the two pumps at the end of the pontoon in the marina at Mindelo. The lads on the pumps were incredibly helpful and some street kids guarded the entrance.My theory is. read more...
Helen - Last Blog but one
We have sailed for all of the last 24 hours and now have only 290 miles to go. Thursday morning across the finish line still looks good.One of the much debated aspects of ocean crossing is how to manage the watch system. We are a boat of five humans and an Iguana, the responsibilities have been allocated:1 crew member has had the mother watch, in charge of everything in the galley, with the opportunity of a full night's sleep. I have joined the captain on each of his watches so there have been 4 watch leaders. The watches have been of 3 hours duration and rotated: A,B,C,D,A,B,C..............In addition we have what is known as the dog watch between 6 and 9 at night when we get together for dinner. These are only 1.5 hour watches and then you pass the watch to the next person.The. read more...
Helen - Ed's next journey
We have less than 450 miles to go and the captain is confident that we will cross thefinish line on Thursday morning. The wind has arrived at last and we are having a fantastic sail.I will be leaving Yacht Helen in St Lucia and I will be looking for a berth to take me to the Galapagos. I don't know what route we will take but it will include a passage through the Panama Canal. I am looking forward to that.I hope that we are able to stop at Guadalupe for a couple of reasons. Firstly there is a large colony of Iguanas on the island of La Desirade and it will be good to catch up with some close relatives.I also hope to go to the island of St Marie near Guadalupe. I have a cousin there. His name is Henry and he is a lizard who lives with a nice English policeman by the beach.The captain says. read more...
Helen - Ed on board Helen
We have 590 miles to go which should take us about 3.5 days. The weather forecast is suggesting stronger winds so we may have some good sailing, but not yet, we are still motoring!Last night I was chatting with the captain as to why sailors sail in the 21st century?Firstly it is the sense of the achievement, beating the elements, living the dream or ticking a box on the bucket list. But it means morewith different aspects for different sailors.For some it's the thrill of the chase, getting to the next port ahead of the competition and squeezing every last drop of boat speed from the wind. Today's racing sailors know this well, as did the ships of old like the Cutty Sark or the Whalers.For me and my 18 Atlantic crossings it's been about meeting new people, particularly the children on the. read more...
Helen - Today's sunrise
My picture today was taken at sunrise this morning. Hopefully one for the best picture competition.We have had a slow 24 hours of 114 miles only. Partly due to our energy efficiency campaign and partly for cooling the engine to enable routine maintenance to be carried out. It's 30 degrees outside and 80 degrees in the engine room!The captain thinks that we will get into St Lucia on Thursday morning and that we can motor nearly all the way if we have too. Surely we must get some wind one day but at the moment the forecast is saying not until Monday at the earliest.Being an Iguana means that I don't know who my parents were which is why I can understand those kids in Mindelo so easily. I was also inspired by the fact that the lizards have their own star near the argonauts ship. Maybe some. read more...