Little Island - 408 - 456 hours
The winds are good and spirits are up as we make good progress towards St Lucia. It’s looking good to arrive on 16, which isn’t too bad given the really slow first week.
The sea state is a real pain and a pain probably felt more by us than any other boat. Being the smallest, the rolling affect is massive (as well as being a tubby, shallow keel Moody). Being double handed means that, if you’re not awake on watch, you’re trying your best to sleep but sometimes the rolling sea has other ideas. Last night it felt that 34 and a half feet of boat was the perfect length to fit into the troughs of the waves; perfectly imperfect. We were being sloshed around in all directions to the point where both autohelms were struggling so we hand-steered all of our watches.
Cat had a real bum deal last night, with every rain and squall of the night falling on her watch. To make it worse, she wasn’t wearing her waterproof trousers so by the time I came up to switch, she looked drenched and totally miserable. My watch was a delight in comparison.
The wind dropped, a lot! We ended up plodding along at sub five knots, which tested my emotions a fair bit. When the wind is good, I’m really happy. When the wind is bad, it’s the total opposite. There isn’t much in between. We’re really quite looking forward to arriving.
On the bright side, the conditions changed enough to allow the kite to go up, so we had a great day at good speed. Only three more nights to go!
We were progressing nicely. I think the toll of tiredness and all this time at sea caught up with Cat a bit and a few tears were shed. When you have so little to do for such a long period and when most hours of the day are spent alone, you suddenly find yourself with a lot of time to think. Inevitably thoughts turn to home, family, the dog or dinner with friends and you can’t help but feel a bit sad and homesick. We both know we’ll have the time of our lives when we arrive, but for now we’re itching to get there, both for a break and some fresh mental stimulation.
What’s worse is that our Spotify account has decided to freeze all of our downloaded songs so we have no music! I’ve been relying heavily on the music to get me through the nights as I sing aloud and dance at the wheel. A fairly dorky one man rock concert. Without the music there is a lot of time to contemplate your own silence.
What is even worst is that, after giving Cat a really long sleep last night, in my tiredness I forgot to check the battery level on hand over. This morning we didn’t have enough juice to start the engine - woopsie. As a result, we’re currently in stealth mode with all electronics off, waiting patiently for the wind charger and solar panel to pull their weight. Thankfully the wind vane steering has stepped up and is working, so it’s not too bad at all. It’s actually quite refreshing. The plan is to stay power down until tomorrow when we hope we have enough charge to get our old engine running again. To do list when we arrive in St Lucia - find out what is draining the starter battery that should be isolated...
Two more nights to go!