We’re looking at maps. I mean charts. Totally. Weather charts. The idea is to start planning our passage – from the beginning of next week. The long-range forecast is coming into view now… and it’s starting to look windy down here. A little too windy.
Herein lies our dilemma. Do we punch our way north out of our southern position in the Caribbean Sea – where the wind often funnels through this southerly corridor? Punch our way out of here – up to the northern part of the Caribbean Sea, where conditions are calmer?
I mean, if winds don’t abate, we’ll have to. But it isn’t ideal to leave straight into a big breeze. We could have left in January if we wanted that. Better to get your sea legs for the beginning. And Questie herself will be at her heaviest: fuel, water and food. Filled to the brim.
So this is where we stare – at the weather charts. There was a period of calmer weather last week. It turned out to be a nice window. We heard that some boats on other islands have used it to leave already for Horta. They rode the lighter conditions north and east. They’re now sailing a lovely breeze up towards Bermuda. Jack and I clocked their positions on the chart. The weather charts.
Me: ‘We missed the first crossing window?’
Jack: ‘Yep. Looks like it.’
This is the danger of being slightly too cautious. But we weren’t ready. Especially now the wind’s kicked back in with its fierce punch.
We took the hydro-generator out of Lu’s closet yesterday. Plugged it in and placed an electric screw driver on the screw in the centre of the propellor. Ready? Pressed the trigger. We watched the prop spin and Quest’s energy display panel for incoming juice. Jack now has this panel bluetoothed straight to his phone.
3 amps? It should be more like 8 amps. But maybe it will spin faster in the water. And perhaps it will get onto the groove too. It’s colour-coded regulator tells us the battery capacity is already full.
Last time we seriously used the hydro-generator on the crossing over here, it got constantly choked with sargassum. Plus, we didn’t realise this at the time, but it hadn’t been wired in correctly. Jack keep staring at its colour-changing regulator.
‘Why can’t it just have a normal display panel with numbers?’
He got so annoyed with it at one stage, he began to talk about it going overboard. I looked at the hydro-generator yesterday. You’re lucky to still be here.