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Sabine - Sabine (118) ARC blog update - 9 Dec 2022

Hello interweb friends, Captain Stape on sail boat Sabine right here (///monks.commiserating.collectivity)
We’re in St. Lucia!!! Time zone that is. We passed through our final zone around mid-morning. This is the last time we’ll have to alter the clocks.
It’s a sunny start to day, with wind and we’re still heading SW to avoid the dead zone that will appear north of us over the next 24hrs. We’re getting closer now with less than 500nm to go.
We tack to avoid some rain - we’ve all had enough of that. Richard at the helm still gets a slight spraying of rain in his face though as we skirt around the cloud, but nothing like the drenching the crew have recently experienced.
Kia is busy performing battery optimisation tasks so that our propulsion and house batteries are as efficient as they can be. They need a good charge from the mains, but there isn’t an extension cable that long!!
Poor Richard, he’s at the helm when the GPS clocks go backwards 1 hour as we traverse into the final time zone, so it looks like he will take the extra hour at the helm :-( John offers to take his watch half an hour early, so this splits the hour between them. It’s a two thumbs up from a grateful Richard, who has big plans for today. Like, sitting and reading, and maybe, just maybe, a shower. Richard asks John as he takes watch ‘Any questions?’
‘Are we there yet?’
Everyone has cuts and scrapes on them from being on the boat, although Kia suggests it could be scurvy. He is a doctor, but I’m not convinced his diagnosis is correct this time.
We think water got into the nav computer (actually, we *know* water got into the nav computer!) as it doesn’t seem to be reading the card with the Caribbean maps on it. Squirts of contact cleaner are used, and then the card slot is left open to dry in the warmth of the day. The card is ok as we can definitely read that on Sabine’s laptop computer. Fingers crossed the spray will do the trick, or navigating into Rodney Bay could be interesting. (As with most things on Sabine, there is redundancy and backup plans, so worry not my interweb friends)
Whilst checking the boat over, and altering some lines to avoid chaffing (no one wants to find chaffing, anywhere! Ouch!) Kia finds a fish in the sail bag. Like the sea water, they seem to get everywhere!
Kia offers Richard a second hand sandwich with a bite taken out of it. He says that the food situation is now so bad the crew have to pick from the Captains leftovers. They hope he’s joking.
Good news my interweb friends!! After many days of talking about it, I can finally reveal that the solar panel has finally been moved across the roof and is now generating power for Sabine. At least it is on this tack. I dare say that when we point towards St. Lucia (soon, my interweb friends, soon), the panel will be on the wrong side to get the sun. Ha!
As the day progresses there’s discussions over choosing a mono-hull, a catamaran or a trimaran, what budget is required for each, what type of sails to have (custom made is best, and to junk the cheap sails that come with a new boat, apparently), and vaccines for diseases in general.
Richard has another shower. Kia asks if it’s his birthday again as that’s 2 in 1 week! However, I’m sure the crew is secretly relieved.
We talk to ‘Escapade’, a German catamaran sailing from Tenerife to Martinique, who have also had problems with the wind and weather, and who also headed south in accordance with GuessWind.
The wind dies, so we motor sail and Maria springs into life. The thrrrdthrrrdthrrrd she makes spoils this sunny, pleasant day, and I fear it’s not the last time we’ll hear her. We always seem to have to turn her on when John is sleeping before his watch. Sorry John! :-(
As Escapade passes behind us, Polina reels in the fishing line to discover she’s caught something: the green-backed common sargassum notfish. It gets thrown back, able to float another day.
John says he’s so hot at night he’s not going to wear pants tonight on watch. Richard looks over aghast, so John corrects himself: he’s not going to wear trousers, but shorts instead. ‘And pants’ says Richard, but John just smiles wryly and says ‘what goes on Sabine, stays on Sabine, oh, and the blog!’. I’m not sure I want to know if John goes with or without pants, but if there is demand from my readers, I’ll pluck up courage to ask that awkward question tomorrow morning. Commando or not commando, that is the question.
It’s evening and Richard has had a snooze/nap/kip/doze. He comes up and is presented with a birthday cake, complete with candles! Everyone sings Happy Birthday and he blows out the candles (quite a feat, as they’re battery powered). It’s Kia’s take on a chocolate cake, and is delicious!
And I have exciting news: GuessWind has guessed the wind correctly for today, and it’s shifted round, so Sabine has as well. We’re now pretty much back on the rum (rhumb) line, and I’m sure the miles will start to quickly drop. As long as the wind doesn’t! Join us again tomorrow to find out if the recently moved panel will still generate power for us now that we’ve turned towards our goal. And please, don’t make me ask John *that* question’!
This is Capt. Stape signing off with 464nm to go. Ciao ciao squawk!

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