“Frustration” best describes the mood on board this afternoon. After great progress up until lunchtime today the wind seems to have died off. It feels like the NoStress team are at the card table with the elements, and the Atlantic Winds have an impenetrable poker face. They know we’re “all in” but keep taunting us anyway. Gusts here and squalls there, followed by lulls of indeterminate lengths forcing us to continuously vary track and change trim. Making us scamper about on our boat in the middle of the ocean to try to squeeze every bit of drive from the elusive airs.
Each day, at just after noon, we receive an email from the ARC committee updating us with all of the latest positions of the boats in the fleet. If you’ve looked at the tracker then you’ll know that this isn’t joyous reading for us. The majority of the fleet are 200-300 miles ahead of us. As you might guess this is not a popular conversation topic onboard - everyone’s used to bruising or knocking something when they’re sailing but there’s a bit of pride that’s taken a knock too. “Frustration” is probably a fitting word for the feelings in this area too. It’s far too easy to look back to the start of the trip and say: “We should have done this...”, or, “We should have gone that way...” but that simply doesn’t get you anywhere. All it does is compound the frustration you have about being completely at the mercy of the elements. The team are coming to terms with it though.
We have no strategical decisions left to make. Our heading to St. Lucia is due West, 270 degrees. The wind is coming in 20 degrees off our stern at 070 degrees. We’ll arrive there when the wind decides it’s time for us to arrive there. That looks like 6~11 days depending on our luck at the poker table and if Orion decides to look on us kindly again.
On a lighter note the calmer conditions have indeed been conducive for sleep and the crew are managing to catch up on some rest. Also “Jennie” seems to be behaving after a fuel filter change (done out of desperation rather than scientific diagnosis) so there’s opportunity to make gains in other areas even when the wind isn’t doing what you’d like.
Dinner will be soon, pork stroganoff with rice, and I’m sending today’s blog now so that I can disappear straight after the meal to get some rest before the late shift.
As always, thanks to everyone for reading.
Alex & the NoStress Crew
P.S. If anyone knows a “wind dance” then please give it a shot - even a rain dance will do (as long as it comes with wind).image1