Rationing kicks in on ARC. Anthony Hopkins with latest news from Eternity of Hamble

Date 29 November 2005

Nine days at sea and still over 2,000 miles to go. This is going to be a slow and long trip, which, apart from frustrating the crews in ARC 2005, will also not be welcomed by the bar owners and restaurant owners in St Lucia.

We are starting to take measures to conserve fuel because although we have not motored, we anticipate being at sea for anything up to a week longer than expected and so we want to reduce the amount of engine time used for battery charging. More helming and less use of the automatic pilot is one move, and just being a bit more careful with lights is another, and as the fresh food is being used up we will turn the fridge off at night.

We actually have plenty of food, but the longlife yogurts are being rationed to one per person per day. Of course we cannot manage without the electric hair driers, toothbrushes etc and the plasma TV is one of our more essential items.

The au pair has been told that she must use a dust pan and brush instead instead of the hoover, and wash the dishes and clothes by hand.

We have been having problems with e-mail which has caused a lot of frustration on the boat, and we think it may be because we failed to reply to two e-mails that we received last week purporting to come from the FBI, and giving an impressive looking address on Pensylvania Avenue, Washington DC.

Anyway, back to the sailing. After three really good days at the end of last week we hit a flat spot on Sunday afternoon which lasted until yesterday evening, and in that time when we were just north of the Cape Verde Islands, we only covered a bout 40 miles.

Finally this morning we got moving again, and after rounding the end of the Islands, we are going south again, and to illustrate the distance that we are going, we shall soon be outside the limits of the ARC weather map, and some boats have done that already.

While becalmed on Sunday in beautifully clear blue water we saw a number of fish. Most we were unable to identify, but there were some obvious brightly coloured yellow fin tuna, and also a number of flying fish.