Jay Jay - Days 20,21,22 The final stages
Day 22 StLucia! Last night after several daysbecalmed, the wind decided to return and we could finally switch the engine offand give it a rest. The poor thing had been going non-stop and had done sterlingservice. We still have just under ½ tank of fuel left, plus the reserve jerrycan, so we can pat ourselves on the back for that. We passed a couple of otherboats yesterday who either had no fuel left or chose to be sailing purists andrefused to put their engines on, either way, they were not making any realprogress. We had to keep our progress rates up as we all have flights to catchthis week. So with the wind on our tail,we had full sails set to port and were bowling along very nicely, reefing downas night fell in case the forecast increase in the wind speed materialised.. read more...
Jay Jay - Day 19 15N 54.3W Less than 400 miles to go!
A funny peculiar day yesterday - no wind, and what there was came from thewest which meant we were heading straight into it. No real use from the sails,although we tried the new patented "Witting Wonderset", which basically utilisesthe foresail in the same way that we would use the main sail to enhance the useof the engine, trap whatever breeze might be available, and sneak a couple ofextra tenths of a knot onto our speed. I spent the best part of 2 hours on mywatch tweaking and twiddling the sails to get the best I could out of her in thevain hope of preserving our fuel a bit. No real success, the wind was being itsusual fickle self and swinging either side of dead ahead. On the fuel front, as we have been somewhat becalmed and are likely to beso for another day at least, we are. read more...
Jay Jay - Day 18 15.1N 53.4W less than 450 miles to go!
Yesterday was a great sailing day until tea-time when we suddenly lost thewind. We knew light winds were forecast but expected them in another 36hours and could really have done with another 200 miles or so under windpower. So we now have the dilemma about using the engine and our fuelreserves. To the best of our calculations we have 180 litres of fuel left,which should equate to 90 hours of motoring at low revs. And with justunder 500 miles left when the wind failed, we needed 100 hours of fuel if wewere to motor all the way. So, very close and a tough decision as to whenwe should / should not use the engine. The consensus yesterday evening wasthat we would look to sail through the night on wind power alone but weabandoned that when our speed dropped. read more...
Jay Jay - Day 17 15.5N 51.5W 560 miles to go
Sitting in the cockpit we are discussing films and the actors who playedthem. Ice Cold in Alex is the topic of conversation, probably prompted by thedream of a cool beer waiting for us in St Lucia. Now we have moved on to the(British) Empire and what role if we had been around at the time, that we wouldlike to have had. Interesting how the thoughts flow. We are making good progress today, the winds are favourable, the sun isshining, a few cumulus clouds scatter the skies, and we are in goodspirits. The whales visited us again yesterday, as did the dolphins, small ones bycomparison with the European breed. All we have left to get under our belts iffor Ed and Phil to see the 'Green Flash' phenomenon. It does exist, Debra and Ihave seen it more than once, but they are somewhat. read more...
Jay Jay - Day 16 15.4N 49.1W
We were all pleased to see daybreak this morning after a rather challenging night. Despite nothing in the weather forecasts, a tropical storm materialised early evening and we had to pull together as a team to ride it out. Sails were reduced to a minimum - just a scrap of the foresail flown and no main at all - as Paul, Phil & Ed battled to keep Jay Jay on course. The auto-helm just couldn't cope with the savage conditions as torrential rain, 50 knot winds and rough seas resulted in us being blown sideways some 45 degrees off course. We were relentlessly pitched from side to side until the engine was put on and we were able to take back control of the boat, engage the auto-helm and revert to the approximate direction we wanted to sail. It was a. read more...