Atlantic Crossing – Day 14

I figure an update to the alarming post I published early this morning to
be fitting, especially to reassure Pauline’s aunt, whom I am coming to
regard as my most loyal reader.

We received feedback and advice from our friends in France early in the
morning. All in all, it is not dangerous. We can still use the mast and
the main sail so long as the shrouds are still properly tight and secure,
and they are. It appears that the base of the mast is not fit-for-purpose.
The makers use one base model for a number of different mast models. As
the base is not tightly fitted, it is in the realm of the possible for the
mast to turn on the base. It’s possible, but it has never been heard of
before. None of our friends have ever heard of a mast rotating on its
base. One friend contacted the makers of the mast and even they have never
heard of anything like this happening! It appears we are experts at having
un-heard-of boat problems…

Another friend showed us how we can fix it, which we’ll do once we take
the boat out of the water in Sainte Lucie. For now, we’ll be nice and
delicate with our mast. We’ll avoid jibbing. We’ll bring in the main sail
if there’s too much wind or not enough.

Meanwhile, we have finally sailed through a bout of stormy weather. All
afternoon, dark clouds were on the horizon hiding all trace of sun but
offering up a majestic show of shapes and colors. You can pretty much make
out if a storm will reach you by the direction and the strength of the
wind. We avoided the darker patches all day until evening fell, when we
sailed right into dark clouds and rain and – get this – the wind all but
died! There is between 3 and 5 knots of wind. We are advancing at 2 knots.
A snail’s pace. Hopefully this weather will end by the morning. Hopefully
the rain will have washed the deck a bit and tomorrow we can get a steady
15 knots of wind, raise the main sail and be on our way. There is nothing
more frustrating than sailing with no wind.

We would use the motor, but we can’t. There’s a problem with the propeller
on portboard and Pierrick prefers we not use that motor for boating. We
have pretty much used up all the fuel on starboard. Our plan was to pump
the fuel from the portboard tank into the starboard one and motor with the
starboard motor, except our plan backfired. The electrical pump that we
have is not powerful enough to pump the fuel out and we don’t have a
good’old manual pump. Pierrick tried sucking the tube to get the flow of
the pump going, but he only managed to chock on the fuel and spit it out
all over himself. And give himself a headache. So we are back to plan A:
use the portboard motor to charge the batteries and use the wind to power
the boat. Now if only we had wind….

The crew finally saw dolphins today! I missed them because I was in the
shower. And we almost fished something but it got away. That has been our
plight during this trip. The lines bite, but the fishes manage to get off.
We have lost more than one bait.

It is an hour from midnight. I am baking bread, waiting for it be done.
Our shifts start at midnight. Pierrick is the first shift. Mine is from 6
to 8 AM. Without wind, the heat and humidity are bearing down on us. Apart
from Clément, we are all tired tonight.

Some of my readers may be prone to believing in the power of prayer. Might
I please address a special request for your prayers? Can you please ask
that we be granted with a nice & constant 15 knots of hindwind from our
current location to Barbados? And a fish. Could you please also request
a 10-15 kilo fish? Something edible like a tuna. Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Atlantic Crossing – Day 14

  1. Christian

    Bonjour à vous tous. Quelle est votre position?
    Je vous embrasse. Bon courage et que la peche soit miraculeuse.

  2. Maï

    By the way, I read you everyday from my office or my phone! I LOVE reading about your adventure and can’t wait to see you guys. The whole Faculty knows you’re crossing the Atlantic! Eli and I will pray for you tonight, promise! A big big fish you will catch 😉 Love you, Maï

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