9 December So Slow

Happy 21st Birthday Zack. Family matters out of the way, back to sailing. Have I mentioned there is very little wind? We spent Saturday night sailing slowly south west, to try to get below a weak ridge of high pressure and little wind. Before breakfast Sunday morning John downloaded a GRIB file, basically a wind map of an area he defined. This suggested the area of almost no wind coming from every direction was north of us and it was reasonable to alter course for St Lucia. This change brought the wind closer behind and the genoa was doing very little so time for a sail change. As good cruisers do, to the chagrin of racers, we had breakfast first. We rolled away the genoa and hauled up the cruising chute; big, colourful, light weight, exactly what is needed in these light airs. We then dropped the main and continued slowly for a couple of hours. We managed to sail at 2.5 knots in 5.2 knots of breeze. Sadly we didn’t manage a week of no engine, by 30 minutes! The boat needs to make at least 2 knots to maintain steerage, difficult in only 3 knots of breeze. Looking back through the log book, we have had no wind higher than 11 knots since midday Sunday 1st December and frequently they have been less than 8 knots. It amazes me that we have got as far as we have. It has been very hot and sunny all day so I suppose it is no surprise that the radar screen is a pretty spotty picture, mainly little green dots with the odd cluster of red. It’s raining! Green is good, light rain; red is not so good, heavier rain. The red appears to be behind us. The wind has also picked up, to 9 knots from 5 before the rain; it has also backed, from ENE to NNE. I don’t want to pull out the genoa on my own so I’ll wait an hour until 0200 watch change. By then there might be no wind again! As it was Sunday, I cooked a roast gammon joint, roast potatoes, carrots and French beans followed by lemon meringue pots. Think pie without the pastry! Joyce

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