Crew member on GBR90 40 Degrees
We have just completed the long 160 mile beat to the island of Les Saintes off the SW corner of the French Department of Guadeloupe. Our spanking SSW breeze of most of Wednesday has been replaced by virtually no wind since sunset and we have been inching forward or and stopped for prolonged periods. At one stage we did four 360s when trapped in a strong eddy. What a contrast with the regular 12-15 knot winds of the first two days!We must now sail the best part of 50 miles NE to reach the next significant corner of La Desirade, passing Marie Galante and the nature reserve of Iles de la Petite Terre. Last year, sailors faced a long tough beat into 25 knot winds and large seas on this leg.Sailors don't enjoy these light conditions - they are frustrating and enervating. We are discombobulated by the long nights and our two hours on/two hours off rolling watch system. We are exhausted after the exhilaration and hard work of the first two days and disappointed that it cannot be sustained. We know that offshore races are won and lost in these trying night-time conditions and we are preserving our good humour and patience until stronger breezes return.
054025 February 2010Michael Boyd