There is one, of sorts. We sail during the day, slop around at night as the wind dies and, finally, drop the sails and run the engine between 10pm and sunrise. Then the breeze seems to re-gather some languid energy and we can sail again. I don’t think we have enough fuel to do this all the way, but I have a secret reserve of 100 virgin litres deep in the bowels of the cockpit locker, which I will keep up my sleeve. So we can Groundhog Day our way forward for a few days yet, in this unsatisfactory rhythm we have created for ourselves.

One thing about the Sargasso Sea – the weed collects on the leading edge of the Aries paddle. We haven’t tried Mr Aries for a day or two but I am sure his efficiency will suffer because of it. In these biggish northerly swells Tainui has been happier with a compass course and CPT has managed quite well. But that weed on the Aries paddle will certainly create drag.


Ian is our designated Aries Weed Wallah. He does the job of boathook weed removal very well. We could lift the paddle but re-installing it in sloppy conditions is neither easy nor completely safe. Moreover, I do like knowing that it is there in the water and Mr Aries is ready to take over steering whenever he is called upon to do so.

Last night the boom end fitting for the mainsail clew snapped. Not surprising I suppose, given the mainsail snatching and snapping it has put up with over the last 3 or 4 seasons. Fortunately the fix was easy, although the problem itself was salutary – there is a limit to what a boat can tolerate when there isn’t enough wind and the sails are wanton.

This time tomorrow morning we will be half way across the pond. Insh’Allah.

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