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Sabine - (118) ARC blog update - 8 Dec 2022

Hello interweb friends, Captain Stape on sail boat Sabine right here (///sucking.bloating.refillable)
Thursday, and it seems those on watch overnight had an exciting time sailing through squalls. There are many damp items in the saloon when I awake. Kia tells me that the wind went from 8knots to 30knots in the blink of an eye. With rain. Lots of rain. The wind settled but the rain persisted for nearly 6 hours. Polina is hoping for a dry day.
The morning is calmer and we’re now heading west as the wind has shifted to come from the south. Richard takes watch from Kia and we’re motor sailing as the wind has dropped. Kia is off for a well deserved nap and Polina is sleeping on the saloon couch as she was also up helping Kia overnight. The fishing reel clickety-clicks occasionally, but it’s probably just catching see grass. Then, as seems to be a common occurrence now, the wind shifts again so it’s now back from the west, and it picks up. Richard has to tack and the speed increases to 5knots. It’s a bit lumpy though, riding over the waves. I had to spread my wings in order to stabilise myself - which is a very hard thing to do from my perch. (When we have proper internet, I’ll post some pictures so you can see what I mean).
The lumpiness continues for 3 hours then Richard hands over to John, and the wind, being the wind (or the ‘ wind’ as I’ve heard some of the crew call it), dies. Eventually it picks up and John trims to sails to make good progress again. Kia reads us the newly downloaded and depressing weather update. So, under advice from the ARC weather update, we head further south west again. I hear French Guyana is very nice this time of year…
Kia recounts what was promised: “Champagne sailing they said. Trade winds blowing you there all the way, they said. The spinnaker will be up for days on end and it’s the easiest passage you can do. The biggest problem will be boredom as there’ll be nothing to do all day so take lots of books!”
Right now it seems we’d be able to ‘Champagne sail’ all the way back to Gran Canaria the way the wind is blowing.
John messages his wife and has to alter his flights home for a few days later as this wind means he wouldn’t make his original flight. I hope he has an understanding boss as he’s supposed to be back at work on Tuesday.
Kia works a large syringe with a long rubber hose attached to top up Maria’s coolant - he likens it to giving Maria an enema! We need to love and care for Maria as she’s a very important member of the crew, just like Otto.
The water maker is started, and Kia suggests we need to name it. Names like Walter (the water maker) and Aqua are immediately suggested, but Kia says he’ll review the suggestions later.
Polina searches the snack basket for any remaining Picnics, but there are absolutely zero, zilch, nada remaining now. Maybe… ;-)
There’s a waterspout forming ahead of us so we tack starboard for a while to avoid it and then when we’re a safe distance passed it, head back towards South America. It never touched the ocean, but we’d prefer to avoid them all the same.
There’s a dead fish in the netting at the front of the boat which causes much mirth and merriment while the crew watch it perform summersaults as the boat rises and drops against the waves, causing the netting to cast the ex-fish skywards. Yes, my interweb friends, it’s come to this: watching a dead fish for entertainment.
The afternoon is smooth sailing, with the crew relaxing whilst I catch up on my beauty sleep - I need to look my best for when we reach St. Lucia. (Eventually reach)
Polina shouts ‘dolphins!’ In a voice so high that only the dolphins could hear it. She says they were jumping out of the water, but neither John nor Richard saw them, so they started to wonder if maybe Polina has started seeing things. Has she been sipping sea water along the way? Something we do see later is another boat - Blue Magic, a 20m long twin masted sail boat, without any sails up. We try calling them on the radio, the backup radio and the hand-held radio, but there’s silence. We’re a smidgen worried that maybe water is affecting the radio, as we know it worked fine a couple of nights ago.
And that’s about it for the day, my interweb friends. I think this has been the most incident free day for a while, for which everyone is grateful. Now all we need to do is turn right and head towards St. Lucia! Stay tuned for the name chosen the water maker.
Late breaking news! Our radio and AIS are definitely working as we call and talk with sail boat Genia (thank you!) passing nearby. It seems the other boats were just being anti-social.
This is Capt. Stape signing off with 524nm to go. Ciao ciao squawk!

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