Location: 12 16.96'S 12 38.37'W
In the last 24hrs we clocked up another 164nm – a pretty good days run for us given the light airs typical of this part of the South Atlantic. Plotted on the small scale chart that dominates the table in the navigation area, we have made just 2cm. Looking at it from that perspective, you realize just how much blue is around us.
This part of the ocean is not notorious for large waves or gale-force winds. The challenge here, especially for a 130-tonne steel schooner like Argo, is light airs and huge distances.
We run an auxiliary engine to maintain speed, but we don’t hold enough fuel to just hit the gas. Argo burns about 20 liters per hour if her main engine and generator are running. Fernando is still over eight days away. Every advantage needs to be taken of the light following breeze. At the lightest puff, the jib is raised as we try to gain an extra 1/2 knot. But then the breeze dies, and the jib must be dropped again, or it will chafe and wear holes in itself as it flogs against the ship’s rigging.
After losing our main boom early on in the trip, we could not afford to waste the mainmast. Inspired by the yacht Spirit of Bermuda, we raised our fisherman sail up the main mast and ran starboard and port sheets to give ourselves a boom-less mainsail that works well in these conditions.
All in all, things are going smoothly, and the flat sea is a welcome change from the rolly start to the trip.
Our current estimated time of arrival in Fernando de Noronha is in a week, Wednesday morning