The three bearded ancient mariners are being pursued around the Atlantic by a High Pressure system and starting to count the calories

Date: 5.06.03 UTC: 1300 Pstn: N 33.40, W 044.12 Track: 085 Wind: Zilch Wx: Sun, squalls Cloud: 25% Bar:1022 Air temp: 28C Sea temp: 25.6C 24hr run: 123 Current SOG: 5.5kn (Motoring)

Firefly Log Days 13

We seem to be glued to the centre of the Azores high pressure system, which is determined to thwart our every attempt at shaking it off in the hunt for some wind. We have enough fuel to motor north where currently an easterly moving depression is giving 30-35kn of westerlies, but if the high follows us we will then be left some 500nm from Horta with no fuel and still no wind.

Possibly no food for that matter, as although Beard 1 is proving to be a master baker in disguise and has produced not just perfectly formed cottage loaves for sarnies and breakfast toast, but an excellent pizza as well – we could soon be running out of ingredients and yeast. Last night we held a group discussion on the best way to use out of date tins of Pork ‘n’ Beans. B1 would simply not consider the matter until all else had been consumed, including the three year-old carton of orange juice I found wedged under the second anchor with a use by date that is now distant history.

Then there is the sweet corn. Just in date maybe, but having now spent many hours removing, cleaning and re-assembling various parts of the plumbing system, I don’t think so!

A last-minute blind grab at the cereal counter in Antigua’s Epicurean supermarket gave us a vast bag of Apple Zaps – sort of O-rings made from a variety of clashing E numbers and colours – obviously intended to give the kids enough hyper-energy to get off to school and bully their colleagues. B1 is still reluctant to try them, but we can see his resolve gradually slipping away as he stares despondently into his now empty jar of Marmite. Needless to say, Beards 2 & 3 have not only tried them, but with mayo and Aunt Suzie’s hot chilli pepper sauce to boot. All except those green ones – why does anybody make green food? Does anyone ever actually eat green sweets? Anyway, we are all praying to catch a decent fish to supplement the Uncle Ben’s – more so now that Ross is threatening to add Jerk flavouring (whatever that might be) to the lunchtime sardines sarnies.

Enough of food, due to the off-hand way the victuals have been organised on board, the beer stocks are at a critical level. I know we decided against overloading ourselves at the start of the trip, but we now only have one bottle a day for one more week, then it’s a dry ship. This is an unknown situation for Firefly and heaven knows what could happen to the crew when the tea bags run out as well. You never know, we might be forced to survive on dubious Caribbean island tank water, spiced up with none other than a tin of powdered ‘Grape Parts’, that states emphatically on the front ‘Contains no grapes’. Judging by the list of chemicals on the side, we could be killing each other within hours of consuming the stuff. Seriously, I’ve noticed the big man peeking enviously at the last of my blackcurrant cordial, and I’m thinking – if he ever samples those grape parts…