Header image: Henri Lloyd in St Katharine Docks before the race start

Motoring to Panama

Since the race finished, we have been motoring in the predicted light
winds. GB went their own way and we started in company with Jamaica and Garmin. The
first evening saw the crews of all three swimming together before dinner. It was good to
catch up with Jan on Garmin and then to use the swing they had rigged up using their
spinnaker pole to get back for dinner. The evening’s entertainment was a quiz provided by
Jamaica with the questions transmitted by VHF radio between the three boats. We’d have done
better if we’d actually listened to each other’s gut instincts! Not that we did badly.

We have been doing as much of the maintenance that would otherwise be required in Panama
while we have been motoring. This should give us more time away from the boat while we are there. We can always dream!

We have a reduced watch system that should give us more sleep. All hands are required to
be on duty for the morning and if not on watch {someone needs to steer the boat!} we are
free to sleep during the afternoon. That’s if you can. It is so hot that even with the
fans sleep in the day is difficult if not impossible. Sometimes all they succeed in doing is moving the hot air around!

We spent two of the mornings carrying out our deep clean and another servicing winches,
doing sail repair and hot-knifing ropes. The next morning was so wet that we were unable to inspect the mainsail for any required repairs.

In the afternoons, after spending one of them trying and failing to sleep in the heat of my bunk I have been whiling away the time on deck instead.

The day that we spent doing sail repair and winches saw us hanging around in a bay off
Costa Rica, where all the other boats that needed fuel went in to get it. For some reason
we were forbidden to do this and had to collect empty fuel cans from Garmin and Jamaica
who had enough fuel to reach Panama for Old Pulteney to fill up and return to us in the bay. OneDLL did some victualling for us, which was very welcome.

Garmin and Jamaica continued straight to Panama, while we are motoring together with Old
Pulteney, OneDLL and Switzerland – or we were until she lost her engine and had to start sailing again.

As I write this, that wet morning is coming to an end, it looks a bit drier on deck and the
smell of freshly baked cheesy croutons to go with the soup for lunch is rather tantalising.

If I have got the syntax for the “delay” shortcode right, by the time this is published, we should be resting in Panama.

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