Sunday 10th December.
Well if all goes according to plan (ha ha sailing, what plan?!) this is our last day on board Uno, crossing the Atlantic! By midday we were down to our last hundred miles and expecting to arrive in St Lucia tomorrow morning around 8 o’clock. We made it through last night without any autopilot issues just a few squalls to deal with. Such a relief! However, the trouble wasn’t over and as soon as the sun came up the autopilot and rudder sensors failed. This time they would not come back with a power reset, not even after 10 resets! We tried everything that worked in the past, for about an hour. We were stuck hand steering, and trying to figure out what was going on.. C’mon Uno, tell us your secrets! It seemed bizarre that it only happened exactly when the sun came up so we were thinking that maybe it has something to do with the solar power coming on, or the inverter being turned on in the morning, or some other strange gremlin that we haven’t thought of yet. Who knows! Finally, after much wiggling of many wires in every place on the boat where the autopilot could be affected, it came back and thankfully lasted most of the day with only one or two more outages.
We had a cheeky beer & “Cheers!” at 3pm, when we were down to our last 80 miles. The only alcohol we have had on the trip since a mini glass of sangria at the halfway mark. We all made an informal speech about our experiences and overall feelings, it got a little emotional. We had to remind ourselves that we aren’t there yet! ;)
We celebrated our last meal on board with the kids request for cheeseburgers and fries. However, a last minute mahi-mahi catch meant we could also put the option of a fish burger on the menu. Some of the crew chose to make it a surf & turf meal.
First night shift was Lynnie 6-9pm & for the first time in many many days, we had white flashing lights in the distance, vessels not showing up on AIS probably fishing boats & nets to avoid. Oh have I mentioned how epic the sky is at night? I saw a meteorite streak orange across the sky one night last week & shooting stars that make you smile.I think tonight has gone relatively smoothly for everyone else, now I’m on my shift from 3-6am. The wind has died right down (except for the squalls that keep intermittently slamming us - at least Uno is clean!) and I can see the distant lights of Martinique to our right, St Lucia out front and St Vincent to the left. It’s getting exciting!! We have travelled the night in line with two other ARC boats; Lady Eleonora to our Starboard side and further across Jetlagged.
Argh, just hit by a 34kt squall that lasted about 15 minutes (felt like an hour). C’mon Uno — hang in there!
You’ll get a rest soon — 20nm to St Lucia!!!!!!!!!