ARC Europe – Monday 31st May

Position @ 1200 UTC

36⁰ 57.23 N 35⁰ 56.62 W

Nautical Miles traveled in last 24 hrs:- 120

What a “Quiet” night, had to engine all night and travelling between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 knots, still batteries fully charged and warm engine room to dry out clothes!

I went up for 0600 hrs watch and still on the engine but there was some wind building from the North, North East. At about 0700 hrs and to get her moving I let out the jib. Speed went up but we had to move more south than we wanted as the wind had veered a bit. So all looking good we increased the jib and put out the staysaill, 7 1/2 knots great, engine off and we were on our way, well we thought we were. Wnd increased to up to 25 knots so reefed the jib and reefed the main. speed dropped and boat back upright again. So far so good untill wind increased again, we slackend off the main and reefed some more jib. One would have thought we were now set but no in came the jib, now just sailing under staysail and reefed in main. So what else, easy, for good measure rain. It poured heavely all morning. 2 minutes in the cockpit and one is soaked. Thank goodness for heavy oilys, the spray hood and bimini give no protection and will need replacing in the summer, more expense!!! still we were thinking we may have to do this sometime.

Paddy came up trumps this morning and cooked a tin of small cocktail sausages we had with our last tin of baked beans and a tin of mushrooms, very good and warming. Unfortunatly we didn’t have any bread, so we know what my job is today, bake a couple of loaves. This task is usually a pleasure but today, everything semed to be against me. On our boat receipe the start process is to mix a certain amount of sugar with a given amount of tepid water and when mixed add the yeast. Unfortunatly I had run out of our normal yeast and had to use some we bought in the USVI’s. After 10 minutes this mix should froth and bubble up. It didn’t so went through the process again, no, did’t work so thought 3rd time lucky. Same thing happened, a little froth on top but nothing like the old yeast did. Anyway I had the flour ready so I chucked it in and mixed it as normal wondering at what point I would be throwing this mix away. When mixed, I divided it into two and let it settle and hopefully rise. To my surprise it did rise, wow! We also had a number of over ripe bananas so made 1 conventional loaf and mixed the bananas with most of the other bread mix. The balance I made into rolls. Lighting the oven was the next hurdle; we were on a port tack and the oven kept gong out, I couldn’t see this bread now getting cooked. All this time, Andrew was fighting with the boat in 28 knott winds gusting to 35 and rain pouring down. It took 4 attempts to get the oven to keep going;.I would light it and 5 mins later it was out; played havoc with my bread! well so I thought. The normal loaf was what shall we say,”normal” the dozen rolls were good though there sizes were interesting, and as for the banana cake/loaf, well what a gooey mess, still I have no doubt that with custard it will lbe fine. I then iced the second half of the carrot cake I had made a few days ago. What a day to choose to make bread etc./,

Cleared up,washed up and put things away and guess what; the rain stopped,the winds died so fast it was un canny, the seas flattend and the sun came out, all in th spaceof about half an hour and yes you have guessed we were back to motoring, would you believe that!!!! We took the time to refill the main diesel tank, we have about 15 gallons left in green containers and 3/4 of a tank, unfortunatly not enough fuel to motor all the way to Horta (Azores) so we must have this south westerly that has been talked about all week,

Because of the dreadful day we had experienced weather wise we we had planned a Chilli Con Carn from tins with rice and bread rolls! so that is what Paddy expertly prepared but it was such a nice evening we enjoyed our dinner outside in the cockpit.

Clearing after dinner, we couldn’t set any sails as there was ninimal wind, 2-4 knots, so pointed Anam Cara straight at Horta and motored.hopeing for wind during the night, I wonder if it will come! It was 2300 hrs as I went injto my final hour on watch and, what’s that I feel and hear, wind? by heck it is, and its blowing in the right direction and at 7 – 9 knots so as I was on watch, out came the jib and an altertation to the staysail setting and we were off, albeit amotor sailing; but at least we were doing 6 knots. Andrew took over at midnight but still had to keep the engine on, lets hope th night air brings forth something!

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