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Apsara: Messages From The Boat:

Home Stretch


February 27, 2004     Lat: 14 N Long: 61 W     Island: St Lucia, West Indies
Air Temp: 82° F     Water Temp: 82° F     Price of Mt Gay Rum: $6 btle

Hello from Apsara!

We are on the home stretch now, but the winds have calmed and our progress has slowed. After moving along at 5-6 knots all morning, and listening to the sails flapping for lack of wind, we have just given in and turned the engine on. We have about 175 miles to go, and just maybe, maybe, enough fuel to motor the rest of the way, so we are hoping that the trade winds will fill in once again! (We have used a lot of fuel running the generator more than necessary in order to run the air conditioning sometime in the afternoons!) We were all disappointed to turn the motor on, but, for now, we will motor along at 6.5 knots, which is a more fuel efficient speed than usual.... The forecast is for continued variable winds....so we'll see what happens. We are at the will of mother nature.

Expected arrival is still Tuesday, but we no longer have worries about arriving to St. Lucia before daybreak! If I had to put money on it, I would bet we would have our feet on terra firma sometime Tuesday evening. But we do have enough food and water to last an extra week beyond that. (Just teasing, loved ones, we will get your spouses home as soon as possible!). But seriously, if you are curious, we are still eating incredibly well - we even have fresh oranges, grapefruit, lemons, potatoes, onions, and tomatoes left in our stores. (Today is fresh pizza for lunch.) And the watermaker has been working successfully day and night so most of us are now taking brief, refreshingly cold, fresh water showers nearly every day.

I think we are all finding it a little sad for this journey to come to an end, yet we are also most ready to arrive and have accomplished the crossing! Not to mention that the crew are missing their mates at home -- and there is significant discussion about the merits of cold beer, gin & tonics, diet coke, anything on ice, and 400 thread count sheets! And a solid 8 hour sleep during the night!!

The good news is that it looks like swimming weather again! It is quite a scorcher outside, so I am hoping we'll take a brief pause for a refreshing dip in the Atlantic. And a large group of dolphins just paid us a brief visit after a one week hiatus. Gotta keep up morale while we are becalmed ;-)

Given 8 crew (including a few novice sailors), a French chef (with what must be hundreds of pounds of provisions), an autopilot that went kaput, and a goal to sail comfortably instead of racing, we are really happy with our progress! And we have to admit that we have only flown the symmetrical spinnaker for a few hours, and the asymmetrical kite only 2x (and only once during the night).

All the best to you.

Apsara and her faithful crew.

_________________
s/v Apsara
www.svapsara.com

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