Crew member on GBR976R Selene
Sadly it all went wrong for Selene behind Guadeloupe. We had placed a waypoint 20 miles to the west of the island to avoid the notorious wind shadow, but in the heat of battle it looked to be a long beat upwind to clear Les Saintes and we moved the waypoint closer in, to 12 miles off, but quite south in relation to the island. Unfortunately this proved a costly error. As we came in towards the waypoint, the wind suddenly died and we were unable to escape from a hole for over 4 hours and we only achieved this by sailing west, ending up almost where we would have been ha we not moved the waypoint. The wind was very light, and what there was seemed to be coming from the west or even north west. That combined with a slow beat in to Les Saintes and even slower beat up to Desirade saw us slip down the leader table as the boats in front of us cleared the island of Desirade and reached off at speed towards North Sails.
We are going OK again now, but disappointingly the wind strength has dropped a little but the angle is still too shy for our asymmetric spinnaker so we are white sail reaching but at a disappointing 8-9 knots rather than the 9-10 knots we had managed before.
I think there is little we can do now to catch up with the boats in front, even with our generous handicap. However we are still pushing as hard as we can and looking forward to some rum and a shower at the finish.
Our ETA has been knocked back still further and now we shall be fortunate to be in before first light tomorrow. Cest la guerre as they say in Guadeloupe. None of us were sorry to see that island finally disappearing off our port quarter.
Morale remains good, save the obvious disappointment of seeing a class win slip from our grasp. We are eating well and enjoying the conditions and the reassurance of an engine which is able to charge our batteries again. We are taking advantage of the relatively calm conditions to boost the batteries again and make some water. Sleep is welcome, and the nights have been surprisingly cool. Much cooler than I recall feeling last year.
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