It’s Wednesday morning, our fourth day at sea. Yesterday wasn’t a great day as there wasn’t much wind at all. No make that NO wind, so we had to motor all day.
And, the forecast wasn’t looking good either with Chris suggesting that we won’t see many days of favorable winds for much of the trip.
As a result, I was becoming a bit preoccupied with the possibility of running out of fuel. No, we haven’t put much of a dent in our fuel with less than 24 hours on the meter since leaving Hampton, but it’s impossible not to project out when the forecast suggests that we won’t reach consistent trade winds until a few hundred miles from Antigua. Amazingly, Pandora carries enough fuel to motor over 1,000 miles but that’s still not enough to get us there if we have to motor a week or more.
One of the great things about my new Iridium Go unit is that I am able to download weather GRIBS every 12 hours that gives me a forecast out a week so between those and the written forecasts from Chris Parker, the weather router, we have a fairly good feel for what is in store.
However, with such a huge gale coming up the US east coast this week, the effect on the wind to the south is a bit hard to predict. As I mentioned previously, when there is a big low in the North Atlantic, those lovely easterly trade winds are suppressed. In this case, the easterlies become southerlies, keeping us from pointing in the direction that we need to go.
Another thing that happens is that the winds tend to go away, so we have to spend a lot more time motoring.
Over the last 24 hours the forecast, now that we are south of Bermuda, is becoming somewhat more clear and suggests we will not encounter quite so much light air or wind on the nose. And, the trades might also kick in a bit sooner.
All and all, things are looking brighter for a good run, well mostly good, from here on out. Yes, we expect to be doing some sailing to the east, not good, but that might not be for as long as expected and then we should be able to turn south, perhaps over the weekend, and continue on our way to Antigua.
The biggest issue we face is a delay in our arrival and I’d really like to think that we can get to Antigua by the 10th or so and beat Brenda and Jane, Peter’s wife, who arrive on the 12th.
One way or the other, wind or not, favorable wind direction or not, we can sail and motor a good distance and we will eventually get there.
I am already looking forward to a “tot” of rum with my crew and tying up in the Dockyard in English Harbor.
So as we inch our way south and closer to Antigua, I think it’s safe to say that “it’s getting a little better every day”. Let’s hope that the forecast continues to improve.
So that’s about it from Pandora as we sometimes motor sail, sometime sail on our way south. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, the sky is blue and the seas are calm. Not bad for a day on the water.
One more thing. Peter has proposed a wager on our arrival time and the one that best guesses the time when we drop anchor in English Harbor gets, well nothing. However, the one of us that is most off buys the first round of drinks.
I’m on it.