SC Accomplice Blog week 10 2/12/19 to 9/12/19
Wed 11 Dec 2019 22:44
Sea nothing but sea for miles! This is our lot. The trade winds have finally started to blow and do they blow, in the range of 19 to 25 knots, 30 knots in rain squalls. A longer swell is developing from astern but at the moment cross swells persist causing a very rock and roll motion. Accomplice handles the sea with ease it’s the occupants who have to move around below gingerly, always holding on and bracing themselves. You wouldn’t believe somethings how the simple task of going to the toilet can leave you looking like a contortionist! We will have muscles where we never believed we would have them!
We have had fun with competing yachts appearing on our AIS screen, checking how fast they are sailing, tweaking our sails and getting past them.......it’s not a race you know.....but then again any two yachts on the water is called a race!
In Las Palmas we were moored beside a French made Ovni yacht under an American flag but were actually British. A healthy dose of competition developed between us and each of us gave the banter of who would have to buy the drinks in St Lucia dependent on who got there first. Well they left us for dead at the start and then went on to motor in the light winds so we lost sight of them. About a couple of days ago they appeared on our screen to much celebration as we now had them as a target. Since then we have been slowly catching them up and have got further west than them so we are now ahead! Our secret is to maintain a respectable speed throughout the day and night, whereas some yachts slow down during night hours for their own various reasons.
We have been eating a variety of vegetarian meals.....but I know secretly that there will be tears over the corned beef when the tin gets opened.
Janice has baked two lovely cakes which provide a sense of normality in this surreal world of scooting across this ocean before the wind and waves. The first a carrot cake and the second a pineapple version with creamy toppings and walnuts, all very tasty and appreciated.
The food stores are lasting well, the fresh produce now gone though. We estimate that we have another 3 days before we arrive in St Lucia and have ample to see us through.
Janet has had great success with her bread and scone making...I heard her say that she had missed out so much by not having baked previously in her life (not really lol). Janet has also prepared her last desert before we arrive for this evening....trifle with little sponge cakes that didn’t sink, so an upside down trifle really! I am sure it will be lovely.
We have joined in on 2 quiz nights run by fellow ARC yachts who happened to be in our VHF radio range. There were only 3 of us but that’s not bad given the spread of the yachts across the ocean. Again a bit surreal in the dark racing along sitting in the cockpit listening to the radio and answering the questions. We won the first and lost the second by a whisker. 2 great evenings were had with thanks to the yachts for doing the organising.
The weather has been changeable many days clear blue skies ringed with varying degrees of cloud cover others just cloudy. Some nights very starry, and present ones lit by a full moon.Always warm and now more humid as we approach the Caribbean. In recent days we have had some quite intense squalls. Black rain filled clouds moving up from astern, full of wind and rain. As they approach the wind increases and becomes cooler then the rain hits you. One evening I went up into the cockpit to chat with the Rob who was on a night watch. Out the corner of my eye I noticed a white funnel looking feature extending down from the clouds to the sea. I instantly took it to be a water spout, like a mini tornado, potentially damaging. We quickly tried to get the twin foresails rolled away to nothing, we managed only one and within a few moments we were hit by the phenomenon, the wind hit storm force strengths and swung the boat around 180 degrees but was gone in seconds. We gathered ourselves together tidied the boat and carried on. It shock us up a bit but will give us years worth of embellishment!
Night before last we were hit by an intense squall with winds of 35knots gusting 40knots plus, I can’t tell you exactly as I was too frightened to look at the wind instrument when it went above 35knots lol!! The boat handled it well just flying before the wind and we broke our speed record and set a new one of 12.7 knots surfing down a wave!
There’s not much evidence of marine life other than flying fish, escaping from predators by flying across the surface of the sea. One night one landed unexpectedly in the cockpit as we ate dinner, caused a moment of shock and laughter!
Everyone is getting along very well which is great given the lack of sleep, squalls and relentless boat motion. Rob regales us with stories of his doing dare and Janet with her life experiences and romantic conquests. Much laughter had by all.
Not much more to report really. We now have 445 miles to go and looking forward to our arrival in Rodney Bay St Lucia. We are starting to think about the food and drink that we will order as soon as we get in.....,the consensus is a beef burger and beer, even by our committed vegetarian lol!!
Andrew, Matthew, Janet, Robert and Janice
Atlantic Ocean 11.12.19