As S/Y Eleutheria increases the pace, the crew settle back and enjoy the entertainment Lynn Grano reports

DateSunday 4 December

PositionN 14 26 35 W 41 46 69

A glorious sunrise and a three-masted schooner greeted the boat directly off our stern this morning. We’ve put both behind us moving seven knots speed on 16 knots of wind direct downwind wing-on-wing. Over the past four days we’ve had reasonably consistent winds out of the east at around 10 to 16 knots, as well as a couple of late night speed runs (usually on the front edge of a slow moving squall line) where one of our crew was so inspired that he donned a Santa hat and ski goggles and saw sustained eight knots with some splendid surfing at 9.5. It’s about time for all the expected winds and speed, which these tradewinds were supposed to deliver, it’s been rather disappointing. Where are the blistering 25 knots winds to sled us towards St. Lucia at a rapid clip?

We listen to Herb every evening. Herb is the Toronto-based oracle of weather wisdom and routing who gets on the HF radio each evening to provide invaluable information to yacht crews all over the North Atlantic about desirable courses of action it’s all remarkable, especially when one considers that this voice on the radio does his amazing service to the sailing community for free. But so far, even Herb can’t locate the big winds. In the meantime, we’ve been fishing and
occasionally getting some hits. The problem is that our 6.5 – 7.5 boat speed is a bit too much for trolling and we’ve lost a number of fish while bringing them in.

We also fill our time with endless hours of reading, contemplating the astrological significance of horoscopes sent via email from the states, making tattoos with the controlled use of sunscreen, learning Spanish, planning the hopefully pompous and decadent evening menu, playing the cards while being edified regarding terms of popular culture that any self-respecting San Franciscan based boat crew should have fluency with.

Tonight, it’s also the gala evening of the First Annual Eleutheria Film Festival, starting with the short and documentary categories, Lord of the Rings, The True Story (an obscure work so far available only to the internet cognoscenti and as such not subject to the arbitrary and capricious Hollywood rating scheme) as well as the Permanent Assurance Trust segment of Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.

Tomorrow evening, it will be full feature presentation of the latter with a possible encore show of Unbearable Lightness of Being. Unfortunately, we haven’t quite mastered shipboard popcorn and with a shortage of sour patch kids and junior mints, we’ve had to turn to fois gras and Spanish tinto to make due during the film showings. We’re still dealing with our power issue and, as of this morning have gone into Apollo 13 mode, shutting down all but essential systems because we can’t seem to get much above 65% percent in our house battery capacity and we’re tired of running the engine every fours hours to fill up our limited present capacity.

(Note: to the non-maritime users of battery power – in general, one doesn’t much want to run the house bank down below 50%, less some longer term charging issues arise)