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Endeavour of Cork - Day 15 - Thursday 1st December

Day 14 - Wednesday - again!

The day that went on forever - or at least that's how it seems.

After the action of this morning, we all fell into a comfortable spinny-driven slump again for the afternoon. Now that the end is sort of in sight, it's all about just getting there - we have a line down from the dodgy spreader to give it a bit of support, and are hyper-conscious of not gybing too much, or without warning or preparation.

Today wasn't as hot as the last few days, thank goodness. No swim today unfortunately - maybe one last one tomorrow?

We had a gorgeous lunch of crepes courtesy of Anais - both savoury and sweet. Then fish curry from Denise for dinner. I have to say the culinary standard of this trip has been truly brilliant. My limited menu when I get home will be sadly lacking!

This evening the wind didn't die as it has every evening recently, and we hope it's going to keep up all night, so we spent a long time rigging up preventers, poling out the jib, re-running jib-sheets and basically rigging everything so that the sails would stay full while heading directly downwind. I then turned full Nervous Nelly about the whole set-up, fearing a squall or an increase in wind during the night (with no moon these nights it's properly pitch black all night and we can't see what's coming at us), with everything basically locked in place. We had dinner while we considered the wisdom of keeping it all in place. Then after dinner we had a quick look at the chart plotter, and saw that we were heading more or less directly for Brazil!!! So the whole lot got undone, we gybed (very carefully), and are now heading not too far off course under white sails (that are not tied down to every available cleat).

Anais and conor meanwhile had crawled into the engine space earlier and tightened up the fan belt, so we're hoping that the batteries will hold the charge longer than they have been lately - there was a vague suspicion that the alternator wasn't engaging properly (or whatever it is that alternators do) so the batteries weren't fully charging. The engine has gone off just now at 9pm - dare we hope that we'll get most of the night without the engine having to go back on again???

Day 15 - Thursday 1st December (December!!!)

Two days to go (well, 1.5 really) and I'm (we're all) soooooo tired!!! Our optimism re the batteries was very short-lived - about an hour in fact, when the alarm went off again, and on went the engine again. Rinse and repeat all through the night, the most we were getting was about an hour out of them. This morning I woke (well, got up - not sure I ever slept) to find Conor deep in The 12-Volt Bible and harbouring a suspicion that we've an electrical leak. Suppose it's better than a watery one, but still doesn't sound too good.

It's been a windy night, it stayed up around the 16kt mark all night and is up to 18/19 now - we're bouncing around the place at quite an angle of heel, so getting around and doing things is proving difficult again and things were flying around during the night, we'd got complacent about storing stuff (ie potential missiles!). We should be careful what we wish for!!! However if it whooshes us to our destination quicker, we're all up for it.

I got a weather (as opposed to wind) forecast from home for St. Lucia last night - nice temps in the late 20s, but RAIN!!!! Honestly, all we've been wishing and praying for is rain out here to cool and wash us down, and would a drop fall on us?? Now we're led to believe that our arrival into St. Lucia will be not an elegant 4/5kts parade under spinnaker, in Carribean sunshine and flat glistening blue seas, but on our ear in the rain. Harumph. Well, as long as the welcoming committee are there with their brollies and the RUM PUNCH!!!

The water tank gauge finally showed something other than full a day or two ago (went down to half) - round about the same time that I noticed an ominous gurgle from the heads sink tap that usually signals the imminent emptying of a tank. Anais has this morning heaved all the water jerry cans up on deck and decanted them into the boat's tank - after only one, as if by magic, the tank gauge was showing full again. You just gotta love these sooper-dooper ultra-accurate electronic gauges!!!

Conor is now dismantling the bunks in Laura/Denise's cabin, again, to have a go at the batteries - and has announced that all power is being switched off for a while - so I'll finish for the moment. Hopefully we'll bounce back later with good news on the electrical front!

Endeavour - over and out.


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