Nearly there, imagine that! The end is insight and the wind seems to be holding and might even improve for that last 24 hours of what we think will be 48 hours. I woke at 7.45 am (remember we are still on UTC) with the sun rise. The real time for our position should be 5.45 am. I joined Shaun on deck and we were joined by Mike a little later. The skipper was sleeping in. We decided to get the main up again as the wind was picking up a bit.
Overnight it was doing about 4 kts so not so exciting but at least we were moving. The main stayed up until around 11 am when the wind seem to drop again and the main started to flap. Our sails both the genoa and the main are too heavy for these light winds and flap quite easily. This flapping is extremely noisy but also can potentially damage the sails and rig. Hot Ice tends to lurch and roll as well as the sails back. Jean was insistent that we put up the tiny spinnaker we have left to support the genoa and was convinced we gained considerable speed as a result. In any event it did make us a little more stable in my view. We continued like this for the rest of the day and evening making way at 4 to 5 kts heading straight for Rio.
The early morning ritual seems to be coffee for most. Mike and Mark prefer the strong tar like stuff, Jean his own brand mixed with hot milk, Shaun as it comes and Warwick and Kevin have tea. Nothing happens until they have had their morning fix. I drink water so I keep it easy.
The fantasy of the crew about what they will be looking forward to most when they land are similar. Apart from seeing wives and girlfriends, it’s a proper porcelain toilet with room to swing your legs, a decent “hot” shower and proper “non-moving” bed but the single most important thing in my mind is actually to be able to sit or be stationary comfortable in one place.
Even as I am writing this blog I am swaying from side to side with half a buttock stuck on the seat while a leg is stuck sideways jamming me in place.
The rest of the day was like Groundhog Day again –reading, sleeping, joking and generally chatting. Generally I think everyone started to realize we were getting there and were trying to remain upbeat.
Mike made curried mince and rice for dinner which turned out to be earlier than expected as we decided to turn our clocks back by 2 hours to Rio time.
We are now 4 hours behind South Africa and 2 behind UTC.
We still have caught no further fish and none that we have eaten on the entire trip.
It has been amazing how little wild life we have seen on this trip and if this is as a result of man’s destruction of the environment it is truly sad. Last night, though, at about 10.30pm as I sat on deck with Mike doing our watch, a lone black bird came into settle on the boat. It was a black Noddy. It found it difficult to settle on a perch but was determined to find somewhere. It took about 10 minutes to find a suitable place.
From the slow boat to Rio… till tomorrow