We've been in radio contact with the Dutch couple we met in Gambia, they are 1000 miles south of us heading for Brazil, motoring for 5 days in the doldrums and extreme heat! Every evening at 8pm we radio "Herb", an amazing guy in California who's been helping yachts with their Atlantic crossings for decades, all for free. We give him our position and weather conditions and he tells us what's ahead and can warn of possible storms and advise on avoiding them. Incredible we can be in contact with land all the way out here.
We've had a few dramas...the vang (connects boom to mast)broke off the mizzen mast. Nic had to drill out the old rivets and re-rivet it on again. I've had to stitch up the bimini which was coming apart; it's taking a few waves over the top! Yesterday am, Nic woke me up from my precious 3 hrs because the autopilot had stopped working. I had to manually steer while he replaced the fuse which had blown after a couple of big waves hit us. We're relieved it was nothing more serious and we're not faced with being at the helm day and night for the rest of the passage; the autopilot gives us a lot of freedom. Other than that our greatest hazard seems to be flying fish which are constantly bombarding the windows, decks and cockpit.
We are now making for St Lucia rather than Martinique. We need some parts and there's a duty-free chandlery there, Martinique is euro zone and will be expensive for us. The call of those pina coladas on a palm-fringed beach is getting stronger.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com/