Odyssey Logs

Atlantic Odyssey Day 16, 17 & 18: News from the fleet


Day 16 – Thursday 3 December

Mercredi Soir

Arrived in le Marin in the afternoon.
See the report.


Distance run today: 144 miles
Total distance run:    2134 miles
Distance to go:   879 miles


Mutterings continue from below decks. Now the whole crew Grandad, 1st Mate, Chef, even Spock are conspiring – and don’t think I don’t know what they call me behind my back! The latest complaint – brought to me by Chief Scientific Officer, Spock, is that they object to the turning back of the clock. This they feel was a violation of the time and motion agreement that the Pirates Union had established in 1491. I can’t seem to get it through their scurrilous, worm eaten, malodorous, scurvy ridden heads that they have gained an hour not lost it. They are acting as if I had dipped my hand into their silk purses and stolen their sow’s ear.

I have to be vigilant. I will pay particular attention to the unlabelled bag just extracted from the freezer by Chef. I don’t trust him and I am beginning to think he lied on his application when he claimed to have been trained at the best 5 mango restaurants in Goa.

From blog.mailasail.com/sventerprise


Loads of wind – 20 – 25 knots so another good 24 hour run.

This morning, C Bligh came out of the master suite fully refreshed after a good night’s sleep at 08:00 local. As usual he announces “Morning cabin boy, all well”? Followed by (as usual) “tea and porridge?”. We have tea and porridge and continue our spinnaker discussion, of which more later. By then it’s around 09:00 and his skipperness says ” well we crossed 45 degrees west last night, cabin boy move the local clocks back one hour!” I do this, although words will need to be had about the cabin boy malarkey.

Now here’s the slightly disturbing thing: C Bligh then exclaims “Blimey 08:00; Tea and porridge?” I’m not sure the old fellah has quite come to terms with this time business….

So we continued the spinnaker conversation. It seems old Bligh has switched positions again from Idsa Rayce to Idsa Noda Rayce. Anyway I want the thing flying he wants it in the bag. Let’s compromise he says. Great I say, thinking progress has been made. “We’ll leave it in the bag” he says. This is a new definition of the word compromise I haven’t previously come across!!!! He then starts going on about the loneliness of command, most of which I missed as a result of being asleep.

Min of Ag and Fish says I have misunderstood the context of the word optimistic in terms of fishing. I thought they were optimistic that a fish would be caught. Apparently they were optimistic around learning whether their secret fish weapon would work. Their pilot, they say, was an unbridled success in that they proved conclusively that the new weapon doesn’t work. I await further announcements with some trepidation.

Today’s meal will be: An unlabeled frozen bag of stuff I made in the Canaries. Management seem fairly sure it will be curry. I can’t think why.

From blog.mailasail.com/barnaclepete


Day 17 – Friday 4 December


Arrived in Le Marin in the morning.
See the report


With around 100 nM to go, we estimate our arrival in the early morning hours of Saturday, 5th December in Martinique. Will slow down or go on anchor in order to enter Le Marin first thing in the morning.

… Not sure if we are happy or sad to have firm ground under our feet soon.

Got quite comfi here on the ocean…

Lazy Bones

At sunset we lost our inner cutter stay. It is secured now to the deck.
All ok. We will travel a little slower.


Distance run today: 134 miles
Total distance run:    2219 miles
Distance to go:   745 miles


There’s nothing like some technical problems to distract the mutinous reprobates. Having given each of them a task, and with Spock fully focused on trying to remember his O-level electronics we are all busy. The threat of me rationing out the wet wipes seems to have provided the appropriate motivation to solve our electricity problems.

Goodness knows what Chef is up to – I saw him with a can opener in his hand, talking to himself, just like he used to when he was a star on the Muppets.

From blog.mailasail.com/sventerprise


Bligh appeared from his presidential suit this morning, and instead of announcing porridge and tea will be served comme d’hab, whispers that he wants to talk with me. I am not good in the morning before my breakfast, so already I think we are going to have a bad day. I am right….

“That cook” he whispers conspiratorially “He’s not to be trusted”
Me: “What?”
Him: “He’s up to something”
Me: “What?”
Him: “I think Spock may be involved”
Me: “What?”
Him: “I think they sabotaged the generator”
Me: “What? Why don’t you make us a nice bowl of porridge and things will look a lot brighter”

I think I will start locking the cupboard I sleep in, which he describes as the guest suite, very firmly indeed at night.

Anyway, the generator. I have examined it carefully and with the benefit of many years of technical experience, I have declared it buggered. Technically speaking. So we are now relying on the engine to charge the battery bank. This is not good as it uses twice as much fuel and cannot charge the batteries at the same rate.

We are convinced that there is at least one duff battery in the bank, which is severely impeding the performance of the others. We are going to try to identify the duff one today. It is a tad risky and will certainly take some time. Still neither of us was planning on going anywhere today.

Today’s dinner will be anything we can cobble together after a trip to battery land.

From blog.mailasail.com/barnaclepete


Hello, Weather sunny but overcast 
Wind Direction + Speed  – E  – 20Knts
Barometric Pressure – 1020.7
Conditions/ Mood On Board – All is well, mood is good


French Florence: Terre à 250 milles: l’accueil des animaux

Ce matin le ciel est nuageux et gris, l’océan est gris aussi… On se croirait à la Mer du Nord! (En juillet, précise Michel )

Ce matin à 7:30 belle surprise : un troupeau de dauphins vient à notre rencontre. Ce sont des dauphins bleus, il y a beaucoup de petits qui nagent à côté de leur maman. Il en arrive de tous les côtés, ils jouent avec les étraves et restent avec nous au moins 1/4 d’heure.

Un peu plus tard, pendant le petit déjeuner, un fou de Bassan arrive, fait plusieurs fois le tour de Ti Punch, et vient se faire admirer très près de nous. Étonnant, car Michel D dit que ce sont des oiseaux farouches. Nous admirons sa technique de pêche et ses plongeons en piqué.

Ensuite arrive un groupe de 8 aigrettes, qui vient voir ce qui se passe sur ce beau cata rouge! Nous attendons les suivants, signes encourageants que la terre se rapproche!

French Olivier: On se régale

La fin de la grande aventure approche, tout le monde le ressent bien, entre l’impatience d’arriver au Marin, de se sentir en sécurité et le regret de voir l’aventure se terminer…

Hier, nous avons bien navigué, sous une belle brise, et pas mal de soleil, cela nous faisait préjuger d’une arrivée samedi en début de soirée… La houle en a profité pour bien monter. Cette nuit, des grains costauds se sont installés, faisant complètement tomber le vent… notre avance s’effondre…

Ce matin, la situation reste la même avec un ciel plombé, un vent très tournant et irrégulier, une houle assez élevée et complètement désordonnée, nous mettons par moment les moteurs pour avancer, seulement pour la seconde fois depuis le départ.

Ces conditions sont très différentes des prévisions… nous n’avons pas encore touché les courants portants annoncés par nos fidèles routeurs Marco et Jean Loup (merci à eux).

Enfin, pour garder le moral au zénith, hier soir repas montagnard de fête… daube de chamois de Jean Loup, polenta… même moi, je crois que je n’avais jamais autant apprécié le chamois ! Je me suis mis à la préparation pour dégager Le capitaine Cook de cette tâche, pour une fois. Avec, la forte houle, alors que je préparais le plat à gratiner avec du parmesan râpé bateau avec la polenta sortant du feu, il a valdingué sur mes pieds… Vite les pieds dans l’eau froide, plus de peur que de mal… la polenta ainsi originalement assaisonnée n’a jamais été aussi bonne…

Pour finir un petit génépi, et la nuit a été très bonne, un peu dure pour les quarts…

From tipunchcapsurlescaraibes.net


Day 18 – Saturday 5 December


Our ETA Saint Lucia channel approach is 10:00 UTC and at the entry to Cul de Sac du Marin by 12:00 UTC (08:00  local) Sunday 6th December.

We have slowed for the last few days so we arrive with daylight. We also lost a genoa halyard and have been running bare-headed  while we sorted out a new arrangement.


Gunsan expect to arrive in about 10-12 hours.
Since it will be dark we intend to cross the finish line, note the time and then go to anchor outside Saint Anne. We will enter Le Marin tomorrow morning.

All well onboard and we look forward to a Rum Punch.


Not far now, should be there in about 4 to 5 days, everything good, its Saturday, Steak Night. Yummy.

From http://blog.mailasail.com/dexter411


Distance run today: 133 miles
Total distance run:    2447 miles
Distance to go :   612 miles


I think I have finally subdued any thoughts of mutiny. Using the old technique of creating a common enemy to bind the nation together (topical reference …). The prospect of losing all new fangled electrical gadgets on board including the trusty autohelm (did I say trusty!) has bound us all as one to fight the common curse. As with the real world “It is all about Power” (Another topical reference … I can’t help myself today ).

I had the scum put out full sail, and we are now bowling along, almost in the right direction even. They have each been given a copy of Practical Boat Owner and a box of crayons, so that should keep them occupied until Chef brings out what is laughingly called lunch.

I can now get on with my reading… “The Golden Books Family Treasury of Poetry”, very calming considering what I have to contend with.

From blog.mailasail.com/sventerprise


I think I need to start getting a bit worried about C Bligh. He announced this morning that since there are now so many people on the boat, and as I didn’t seem to contribute anything as far as he could see, I would need to move out of the guest suite. Apparently he wants Cook and Spock in my cabin where he can “keep a weather eye on them”. I just hope he doesn’t have a moment of clarity and realizes that they are both me!

I am now sleeping in my guitar flight case in the store room. I am fairly confident the case will float if I need to make good my escape.

Had an appointment with min of Ag and Fish today during which I pointed out that other boats seem to be catching and eating fish. There was a horrified silence and then Min said “but Sir, these are foreign fish!!!”

Today’s meal, in the absence of fish, foreign or otherwise, will be Lamb Stew.

From blog.mailasail.com/barnaclepete


Hello, Weather sunny but overcast 
Wind Direction + Speed  – E  – 18Knts
Barometric Pressure – 1019.5
Conditions/ Mood On Board – All is well, mood is good

New Horizon

French Après consultation des augures, des éphémérides et du sextant (qui nous a confirmé qu’on arrivait bientôt au sommet de la Montagne Pelée), je suis en mesure d’annoncer que nous devrions franchir la ligne d’arrivée demain dimanche 6 dans la fenêtre 15h -19h locales.

En cas d’arrivée à la nuit tombante ou tombée, nous irons mouiller à Sainte-Anne.


French Michel

Petit salut à l’approche de la Martinique

Notre transat se termine. Ce projet préparé depuis de nombreux mois est atteint.

J’ai apprécié chaque vague , prêt à recommencer dès demain. Le grand large est beau et impressionnant par la hauteur et la puissance de la houle. Ti Punch s’est vaillamment comporté. Notre traversée fut confortable .

La gestion du bateau est bien différente de mes habitudes ”côtières”. J’apprends tous les jours. Florence nous a préparé des menus de gourmet. Saveurs de GERS et pain frais tous les jours. Les poissons savoureux m’ont comblé .

Je salue les amis, les marins, et les terriens qui nous ont suivis durant ces 17 jours vécus sur l’océan. Kenavo.

Dernier jour en mer

Nous voici dans la dernière ligne droite, il nous reste 78MN et on espère arriver vers 22h heure locale. La tension est maintenant relâchée, et les conditions sont bonnes: soleil, 20 kns de vent, houle longue.

On réalise que l’on touche du doigt ce qui est peut-être banal pour certains, mais reste un exploit pour nous. S’éloignent les craintes des premiers jours suite à la casse des drosses et d’un des rivets de la barre de liaison, et le risque de perte de la deuxième barre aussi (on n’en n’a pas parlé pour ne pas inquiéter) qui nous laissait totalement dépendants du pilote automatique – mais (touchons du bois), le pilote a tenu et a été rebaptisé “Maverick” vu sa qualité…

Renoncer n’a jamais été une option, et comme l’a dit Jean-loup dans un de ses commentaires, la traversée, c’est aussi faire face aux incidents, s’adapter, et trouver des solutions,… et continuer!

Le dernier challenge sera l’entrée dans le cul de sac du marin de nuit, mais on n’a pas de mouillage à poste, donc pas vraiment le choix. Trop tard pour un apéro aux accras à la marina, mais ça sera pour demain!

From tipunchcapsurlescaraibes.net

Comfortably Numb, Invictus, Irresistible Ocean, Ti Punch, Gunsan, Seamount

Arrived in Le Marin today.

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