Hello from Apsara!
|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
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.