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Mistral of Portsmouth - 400 miles to go …

We are still trucking along - between 5 and 8 knots depending on the winds - which, by the way, are totally fickle and very annoying. We are up and down frequently, trying to sail as well as we can and stop the sails flapping and flailing as the wind is directly behind us much of the time. Apart from the sails misbehaving, Mistral has been seriously rocking and rolling … wearing when we are trying to do anything at all although good for the core and building balance. Every cloud/silver linings??

So what’s the news? There is always drama. Very sadly, one of the Arc boats had a medical emergency with one of the crew having a stroke. Everyone pulled together offering advice, support, fuel and help to get the best placed boat to transport the patient to land asap. A power cruising boat was close by and stepped in. The patient was transferred safely and we learnt today that a slow recovery has begun. Scary stuff.

On Mistral, we have some of our own challenges! The generator has failed. We have worked on it each day to try to resolve the issue and had good advice from other Arc boats. In spite of all efforts, we still haven’t sorted it - it’s frustrating and is bad news for 2 reasons - firstly we can’t make water so we now have to seriously economise on our water usage, and secondly, we have to use the engine to recharge the batteries of the boat every day.  We will all be smelly when we arrive - yuk! On the bright side, we have 3 days to go and the water tanks were full so there is no real crisis.

We have continued to eat well … I am baking bread as we ran out; fresh fruit has long gone and we are down to 1/4 of a cabbage, 1 carrot, 4 potatoes and onions by way of veg. The freezer is low but we still have a banana cake (made in Galapagos), frozen tuna and mahi-mahi… we will not starve! I made flapjacks this morning just to be sure.

We have had no joy with the fishing rods recently - several bites but the buggers manage to jump off the line before we can reel them in. Today I am going all out - we have 2 fishing rods out for the first time - my tuna slayer is on as a lure so I am feeling optimistic! Patrick is now beating me at cribbage - definitely not chivalrous given that I taught him to play! And I have finally started to draw - I am hopeless but have been encouraged to start by Laura K. Chris is still ordering stuff from Amazon when ever he gets a chance in his spare time. Nothing new there!

On a slightly more ethereal note, the night skies are stunning - I’m learning about the stars and planets and have managed to nail Venus and the Southern Cross so far. Obviously, a lot more to go but I am loving the expanse of the skies - every day and night is different and really beautiful in the panoply of colours, the shape of the clouds and the vastness of everything that surrounds us. 

I am hoping that my next blog post will be our arrival in Hiva Oa … praying to the wind gods

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