The sun shines, the air and water are both 26 C, Anjea moves comfortably across the long, low ocean swells. We have a bit of tied down genoa out just to stabilize the rolling as we move gently across the 2 metre waves, but actually sailing is out of the question in this calm. If we put more sail out it just flaps from side to side or, if a little breeze picks up and we try to sail it, the gentle rolling spills the air and the genoa collapses. If I still had that big, light spinnaker then I would try to set that, it might fly, but the spinnaker got blown to shreds long ago and the genoa is way to heavy and rigid to set.

We don’t talk much, just the necessities. The engine noise makes it just that bit harder to understand what Merel says and I find myself lost, even after she repeats herself three times. Then I smile, try not to look stupid, and give up trying to converse, or say something that I hope is relevant.

The engine is a necessary evil. I hate the noise and smell but it moves us along. We have now been at sea for a week and it will be another two or three days before we get to Jamestown. At this speed our ETA is early Tuesday 29th. But if we get the slightest breeze we’ll try to sail for a while, just for the silence. That will slow us down of course but it doesn’t matter as we cannot get a Covid test until Thursday, and we cannot go ashore on St Helena until the test results are clear.

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