19/05/2017 – The first two days

The start at 1100 on Wednesday was interesting. Somehow we managed to sail over the line at 3.2 knots in very little wind. We put in a tack and found we could only make 1.9 so we put the engine in gear and motored towards the Town Cut where we all had to motor through because it was straight into the wind! Tacking was interesting for us. We had installed the inner forestay so that we could use the staysail together with the genoa to get better wind in the light breeze, though we hadn’t pulled up the staysail. Normally, when you tack the wind blows the sail across and it manages to pull past the mast. With the inner forestay in place there is only a narrow slot for the genoa to pass through so we wound it away, altered course and pulled it out on the other side, not the speediest tacking manoeuvre ever! ..... ..... Once out of the cut we sailed for 45 minutes but only managed 1.5 nM towards our destination so on went the engine again. The forecast was for little wind for a day or so, heading northeast would give us the best chance of finding some slightly stronger wind. We finally turned the engine off at 0843 on Thursday morning and we have been sailing ever since. ..... ..... The highlight of the first day (1110 start for class B to midday Thursday) was a dinner of liver, bacon, fried onions, potatoes, ratatouille and gravy. The day’s run to noon was 133 nM, almost entirely on engine. Once we were sailing and the batteries were fully charged John started the generator and we made a tank of water as we were down to the red. ..... ..... Thursday afternoon, with lots of water plus lots of hot water, I washed some shirts and undies which dried quite quickly on the line across the arch on the aft deck. I will try to keep on top of the laundry as there is nothing worse than to spend the first couple of days ashore doing the laundry! I then made up a batch of Thai Green Curry paste which turned out rather red because I used a red pepper as I hadn’t bought a green pepper. Never mind the colour, it tasted good and half is in the freezer to use another day. Dinner was Thai Green Vegetable Curry with pan fried Wahoo fillets. This is almost the last of a large fish we caught last year. I had a couple of slices of Key Lime Pie hidden away so that was dessert. ..... ..... Overnight the wind backed and now we are more or less sailing towards our destination with the wind close behind. The preventer is firmly on the mainsail and the genoa is poled out the other side. We dropped the staysail and that is laying on the dinghy, ready to be pressed into service if necessary. The day’s run to noon was a pathetic 114 nM towards our destination, partly because we were heading 30 degrees high until about 2100. ..... ..... Towards the end of the leg from the BVI to Bermuda the nights started to become cooler to the extent that I dug out a blanket to go over the sheet bag. We are not that much further north but last night the blanket was not enough so the duvet was pressed into service. Why are we heading north? Cold nights usually result in a hot breakfast. Thursday I made porridge, today it was scrambled eggs on toast with bacon. Yes, food is a very important part of sailing! ..... ..... Joyce

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