Indulgence - Email blackout and the homestretch....
Tuesday 11th December
Current Position: N 15o 26'.155 W 52o 08'.286
Current Speed : 6.5 knots
Distance to finish at Saint Lucia : 511 nm
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Email blackout and the homestretch….
No matter how hard we tried over the past days, we simply could not get the connection between the sat phone and our computer working. No more emails. No more blogging. No more, no more, no more!!!!! Ahhhh…. help, it's a black out!. Breathe deeply Joleen.
Genuinely though, with the cessation of email communications, I was upset. Very upset. It was like someone decided they were going to cut off my right arm and it made me realise how important communications are to me. I've enjoyed bringing you all on this journey with us over the past few weeks, reporting on the days activities and general banter onboard. I've now taken to recording more audio blogs, including the sound of the waves at night and a nice interview with Aidan, which will be broadcasted when we get ashore.
For now, this blog post, is an attempt and I really don't know if our computer and sat phone arrangement will cooperate today. None the less, it will remain in the outbox until we get our next connection. For your own information, lack of emails, also means lack of regular weather reports and we are not sure of our fleet position in the ARC rally.
So, besides the drama of this email outage, crew spirits and activities still remain high. We are on the home stretch now, with just over 500 nautical miles to go to Saint Lucia. For me, the last few days have been more of a reflective time, especially enjoying solitary night watches and chatting to the broleens.
One of our highlights over the past few days, was shortly after our last post, when we crossed the 1,000 miles to go barrier and had endured rain for the entire day. As the night set in, so did calm seas and a warm breeze. We sat in the cockpit and cracked open a bottle of rum and it felt like we were sitting at home in the marina. The party put a completely different meaning to the "Mid Atlantic Drift".
Techie geekspeak for all of those who are curious. Our auto helm, Colm, is doing a fabulous job. Colm has steered us since we left, without complaint and didn't at any stage call for union rules at the feeling of being victimised for over work.
To keep our power topped up, we run the engine for two hours in the morning, and again in the evening. The power consumption is low, even though we run our fridge for six hours and have our plotter and auto helm running continuously.
We have found the sweet spot with our sail arrangement. This is a number three reefed main, with same size headsail poled out. Minor sail repairs were carried out yesterday, due to abrasions against the shrouds.
Our food rations are fine. We just ran out of UHT milk today. We have plenty of everything else, including still half a banana plantation, which has gone well beyond ripening point. Several recipes have been endured by the crew. Highest scores goes to the banana bread and lowest to the oven baked bananas wrapped in serano ham. We may get adventurous in the galley again this afternoon and try fried bananas with fish curry.
Speaking of fish, our biggest catch to date was hauled in yesterday. A 8.5kg sail fish, with long blue snout and razor shape teeth was lugged over board by John and Denis. It was honestly, enormous and we now have enough fish steaks to feed a little village.
The conversations for now, remain on the topic of the home stretch and what is the first thing we all want to do when get ashore. John is taking his responsibilities very seriously and will be rushing to check us all in at customs and immigration, while Denis is looking forward to that first rum at the bar and Aidan a nice meal, preferably lobster, or crab and an extra bottle of chilled white wine. For me, all I want is a warm, fresh water shower, clean bedlinen (there has been three bed wettings, but only because the hatches have been left open) and my clothes not to feel crisp with salt. A walk on the beach would also be nice. Only a few more days now…..