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Please be sure to read the title of this post in your best Jack Sparrow impression. It would have been just wrong to not mention the Captain at least once on this trip.
So in the bummer news of the day, the wind, which had been so faithful so far in this trip, has seemingly deserted us. We’ve gone from a consistent 20-25 knots of true wind down to single digits. It was slowly dropping throughout the day, so we did lots of experimenting. Our screecher, which has a luff that is too long for the bowsprit, was pulled out. Rather than running it from the bowsprit, I rigged up a line running from our anchor bridle attachment points on each hull, through the block on our sprit, with loops near the bows in order to attach the furler.
Up went the screecher to test and see if we could get a decently tight luff, and while it was a bit loose, it was definitely better than it was on the sprit. So we attached a sheet and pulled it out. Of course, while we were doing this, the wind kept dropping, so by the time we had it all rigged up, the true wind was in the single digits, and no matter what I tried, we could get a decent setup with both the main and screecher. Down came the mainsail and we sailed under screecher only. I can’t say that we were going all that fast, but when the apparent wind is about 6-7 knots and we have 3-4 knots of boat speed, I don’t think thats all that bad.
Fortunately, we did need to make water and going slow is perfect for that. It took about 5 hours to completely fill up the tanks, which coincidently was right at sunset.
And while we were definitely sailing, even in very light winds, the crew has voted and the iron gennaker, aka the engine, has replaced the screecher as our main method of propulsion and is currently churning at 1500 rpms to push us at 5.5-6 knots. At this engine speed, we consume about .6 gallons of diesel an hour. I’m conservatively estimating that we have about 90 gallons of diesel left on board, which would give us about 150 hours of motoring. That would put us well within range of the Bahamas if we had to motor the whole way, but fortunately, the winds are supposed to fill back in on Friday so we can get back to sailing!