Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | January 10, 2012

Day 37: The wrong sort of wind

Well, honestly, after all that rudder repairing, and a pleasant day’s rowing yesterday in nice, moderate conditions, with plenty of sun to recharge the batteries and dry out our cabin mattresses (which all got rather wet with the new rudder being taken through there many times for offering up) and we rowed till 10.30pm because there was a good moon to see by, it was SO disappointing to discover at 5am that the wind had veered to the S and we’d been blown about 5 miles due north overnight.

We took turns on the oars trying to row west, which was jolly difficult as we were parallel to the waves and slightly rowing into a head wind. We then did a couple of hours of 2-up, which got us a bit further west, but the wind and seas were so determined to blow us N that we put the para anchor out around lunchtime, and have spent the rest of the day cleaning the boat up (there was a fair deal of swing involved in the jury rig of the new rudder, hence wet sawdust gunge all over the deck), doing some laundry, H washing her hair (careful – believe this is at least the second time on this trip now! Land Ed), and R is now working on whether the autohelm fitting from our old rudder could be attached to the new one.

So, sorry to disappoint those of you who thought we’d be tearing off in the Barbados direction leaving nice straight lines on the tracker – ocean rowing isn’t like that (and the race so far has probably had unprecedented favourable winds). Forecast for tomorrow is identical to today, but the wind should be back to a better direction the day after. However, winds are due to get BIG again on Fri and bigger again on Sat.

MANY thanks to all of you who have saved copies of the Telegraph and Times article for us.

Janet, your suggestion that we might have had weed round the rudder and be wanting a re-row brought us out in a cold sweat.

Great to hear from you Tim Waters! Good news on the shortlisting for that job Claire. And thanks for messages from Matthew T, Alison F, Tonbridge, Rog (yes, I agree, and no we didn’t think it was you), Helen C, Mel, Midgie, Sheena, and thank you Lisa F for everything!

Happy birthday to our god-daughter Martha Sayeed – 9 today!

The flag flying from our bows is the Gomeran flag. We did have the red ensign and Canary islands flag on a pole on our stern, but the cup that held the pole sheared during the rudder refitting. I think it was already damaged by having had a vibrating flagpole in it for so long – we’ve got the pole and flags, though!

Baz, your cheese and pirate jokes did indeed induce big groans – this trip is going to be a test of your joke stamina!

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