Posted on 11/11/2017 to World Cruising
The crew is growing restless. Sick of motoring, you can tell it’s beginning to wear on everyone. Where is the wind? It’s no great secret we hate being under engine. It’s noisy, smells of diesel, and is generally awful. Haji was built to sail, and if the skipper had his way there would be no engine, but alas it is a necessary evil. The weather report downloaded at 0849, bringing the bad news; there would be no wind for another 36 hours. So we find ourselves stuck in a catch 22, a damned if you do/damned if you don’t situation. Sail slowly toward Mindelo and miss the Sunday 1800 cut off, or motor most of the way (taking the penalty for doing so) and find ourselves on the cusp of being demoted to a motor sailing class. Even under engine for the rest of the trip we would arrive just in the nick of time.
We are currently trying to find a balance of sailing when possible and motoring when absolutely necessary. We need the wind though, and soon. It has picked up this evening (4 knots of apparent wind!), enough to get us moving, but not enough to get us to the finish line in time. However, we’re not the only ones in this predicament. By my count 20-25 other boats are on the cusp of missing the deadline, more than one third of the fleet. Perhaps only 15-20 will make it to the welcome drinks on Saturday. This I believe was a calculated move by the ARC+ organizers to keep the rowdy crews of the slow boats from drinking their fees worth in booze. For that, I applaud you and after the welcome party in Las Palmas I can’t say I blame you.
We’ll keep the faith and try not to let it get us down. After all, there are worse things in the world. With some luck we might come across another large pod of dolphins and harness them like sled dogs to pull us to Cape Verde. Then maybe, just maybe, we’ll make it in time. Now mush Flipper!
Update: The wind has kicked in since writing this post and Haji is now cruising at a comfortable 6.5 knots. If this keeps up we should have no problem making it to the finish line in time. However, we’re still impossibly off pace to make the welcome drinks. If you’re reading this and will be attending the welcome party, have a beer for us. Then sneak a few bottles of wine out (like the pirate you are at heart) and we’ll share the booty tomorrow!