Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 3 to FP - Struggles

Time: 2310UTC, COG 240T, SOG 5.5kts, Distance Remaining: 2721nm

The struggle against sleep is one you can expect during a long passage. At
anchor, Mark and I are used to going to bed around 10pm and getting up again
around 7am. We rarely take naps during the day. On a constantly moving
sailboat, the situation is entirely different. While just being underway in
the salty air is already tiring, once total darkness has set in (around
7pm), we take shifts. I go to bed from 7pm until 1am and Mark from 1am until
7am, our allocated sleepy time. We are trying night watches of six hours
off, six hours on this time. Keeping your eyes open during six pitch black
hours is hard, especially the first few days when you are trying to get used
to the new schedule. On top of that, we try to stay warm with long clothes,
socks, a wool hat and foul weather jacket. During the day, we also fight
hard against that tired feeling and naps are in order. The longer we do
this, the easier it will get. We think.
A struggle we did not anticipate is the one against the lack of wind. So
far, our trip has been as comfortable as it has been slow: VERY. If we want
flat seas and plenty of comfort, we stay in an anchorage. This time, we
really need to get somewhere. 3000 miles from here! And only moving at 2
knots is not going to cut it. While it was nice the first two days to slowly
wobble our way west - to get used to being on the ocean; getting our sea
legs and the like- three days of barely any progress and rarely any wind,
sails flapping all over the place, gets old. And annoying. And a tad
demotivating. It makes us worry about our water and food supply already.
Little wind also means no electricity to charge the boat batteries (the sun
is finicky) and not enough speed to catch fish. All we want is 10 knots of
wind. Is that too much to ask?

Last minutes update: The wind has been a steadyish 8-10kts for the past
couple of hours, which is very good news. Let's hope it stays!


Mike Boyd said...

Hi Liesbet and Mark,

I just recently found your blog as we are currently considering a FP Tobago for my wife and I and our two dogs. Sending wishes for a little more favorable wind for you! Have a safe and speedy passage.

-Mike said...

Hi guys, following w great interest your posts, as soon i will be do the same.. sailing to FP... I totaly understand and apreciate the sleeping, night watch, settling in situation.. Winds will improve no doubt and all will be ok... Fair (and enough winds) and following seas.. All the best, Pieter SV Onda Boa (currently in St Maarten)

Liesbet said...

Hello Mike,

Thanks for your comment and wishes. It was speedy, and I guess it was safe as well, just not too much fun or comfortable! :-)

I'll get back to your email and questions soon!


Liesbet said...

Hello Pieter,

Are you Dutch? Based on your name and the fact you are in St. Maarten, I was just wondering... :-)

How exciting you´ll be coming this way as well. It seems like you already have a good idea and understanding of what the crossing will involve. I'm glad the blogs helped. You gotta see everything in perspective...

It's not an easy decision (for us, anyway) and the trips are long and rough, but I think (every day a bit more) that it will be worth it!

Thanks for wishing us well,
Liesbet and Mark