Day 193, Year 9: Sunshine and Update from Lady M
Date: Friday, May 2, 2014
Weather: Beautiful Sunshine Following Early Morning Drizzle, Temps in the 50’s
Location: Brewer Fiddler’s Cove Marina, North Falmouth, Massachusetts

Hallelujah, hallelujah. After early morning drizzles, the sun finally came out and it felt like spring. Love that sunshine. While it was still drizzling, Mark headed to work at West Marine and Ollie and I went to the library for story time. The community playground is just across the street from the library and there was lots of activity there this morning. Ollie and I watched tons of mulch being dumped adjacent to the playground and then watched two bobcats delivering that mulch to the play area. Then we went home to dig in the dirt in the backyard. The kids have a digging area, and we dug and dug before we had to stop for lunch and nap. While Ollie napped, I did a power cleaning . . . swept and mopped the downstairs, did the last bit of laundry for the week, and continued a bit of organizing of what the boys call their ‘storage unit’ in the dining room. After nap, it was off to pick Sam up from school, play for a bit on the playground, and then head back downtown to check on the progress at the community playground. This was at Ollie’s insistence. All day he kept signing for “more mulch.” When we returned at the end of the day, Ollie was devastated that the bobcats were no longer depositing mulch on the playground. They had completed their job. Tomorrow adult community volunteers will spread all of the mulch (at least 4 huge dump truck loads). The boys would love to help, but it is an ‘adults only’ affair. Heather and Jed are getting a delivery of oyster shell tomorrow to cover the area under the beehives and the path leading to the area, so at least the boys will get to help spread that. And they plan on coming to Windbird in the morning to help with the removal of the plastic. So these activities should keep them busy tomorrow.

What follows is the promised update from our Aussie friends Chris and Geoff (Chris is doing the writing) describing their adventures on Lady M. They have left Puerto Rico and are on their way across the Atlantic to the Med. To me as a sailing cruiser, the amount of fuel consumed by this boat is the most unbelievable part of this adventure.

“We are currently on route to Azores – the plan has changed again. Tuesday night we arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Met a few contractors who finished up some work on “M” while two tankers brought fuel down to the dock and we took it on board over the next three hours. Cleared immigration out of the USA by the skin on our teeth and left port around 0100hrs only to return to the dock as the shaft seal was letting in too much water. The problem was fixed by the engineers and we set off again just after 0700hrs on Wednesday morning.

Since then we have had brilliant weather conditions and “M” is steaming along at 15 knots. We don’t have the fuel range to get us there if we go any faster which is a shame as she wants to go. We expect to arrive in Azores instead of Madeira now in about 5 days or so. Then a couple of days to Gibraltar.

Some of the crew have been sea sick which is funny given the relatively calm conditions but I must say the Sous Chef has soldiered on and produced good food. Our watches go fast and we are feeling ok with sleep. Yesterday during my watch we had a catamaran pass us and when I checked out the name on the AIS system realised it was our friends Scott & Nikki on “Beachhouse”. I called them on the VHF and we had a great chat for a few minutes. They were completely blown away at the chances of meeting like that even though we both knew each other were in the vicinity. Small world!!

The weather has continued to be good with perhaps 15 knots of wind max and a couple of metres swell. We have about half the crew feeling unwell but doing their best to soldier on. I have given over our packet of Travacalm to the chef and her deckhand boyfriend which seems to help more than the other medication on board. Geoff is feeling really good so he won’t need it. It’s really not that bad but I am blessed with a cast iron stomach and thank the sea gods I don’t suffer with anything more than a raging hunger for food while on passage. My watches are 4 hours on the bridge and I start work in between shifts, so I spend two hours with one deck hand and two hours with Capt Scotty so time passes very quickly. At first it was a little overwhelming with all the screens and buttons and instruments but if you break it all down it’s what we have on our humble little yachts only the latest and greatest models. Our two radars are 120nm range and very sensitive, the GPS is same same and the AIS wonderful and definitely on the list for Shambala when we return. I enter into the log every hour and plot our position on a paper chart every 4 hours now that we are away from land instead of every hour. We have had to back off to around 13 knots as our fuel will not last if we push any harder which is such a pity as we could be going so much quicker. We are now ONLY using around 350 litres per hour!! Once we refuel in Azores it will be hell for leather to Gibraltar. Not sure after that as we are supposed to be in Palma, Spain by the 7th of May which isn’t going to happen so it will be up to the “boss” where he wants to meet up with his boat.

All the problems we have had seem to have sorted themselves out now and “M” is running along nicely and we are getting good sleep when off watch so all well with us. Nothing to report ocean wise it’s very quiet both with sea life and traffic. If you want to see where we are check out and then in the search box type in Lady M and we are the one with the KY in front of it. (there will be about 10 Lady M’s). I will send some pics via gmail when we have a better internet connection. I could get used to this luxurious life!!