(Hopefully) a return to normality

Graham Deegan
Fri 4 Dec 2009 03:55
As I write we are peacefully trucking along at around 8 knots in 15 knots of wind.  We are on port gybe with a heading of around 250 magnetic.  St Lucia is now at 281magnetic but we are unable to get down there on this gybe and so the question is do we give up this side of the course in order to get a better angle to the finish.  We had thought south of the rhumb line to be favourite for stronger winds but we are not sure of that now.  Anyway the question is do we get everyone up for a gybe in the dark or do we carry on - the Nipper ponders this as I write.
Today was one of somewhat evasive and light winds and although we never ran out we have been spoiled by the fantastic winds at the beginning of the ARC.  We now want nothing less than 20 knots steady at 135 degrees to our course but unfortunately the last few days have been anything but that.  However it would appear that a lot of boats have been suffering problems and therefore all is not lost for us.  We have been getting a very helpful update from a fellow on a boat called Tucanon.  He takes all of the boats positions and puts them into a finishing order based around the continuation of the daily averages of each boat and the handicap of each boat.  He then comes up with a potential finishing position and thus provides a daily leader board and it is from this that we have been getting our apparent position.  According to Tucanon we are still in the hunt although we have been ousted from the top slot by a catamaran that is back in 111 position on the water.  We are still 20th on the water and therefore it is still all to play for.
However at mid day today we still had approximately a 'Fastnet Race' to complete before we finish but nevertheless the finish does certainly feel a lot closer.
We continue to thrive on board and we are still all on speaking terms.  Although there has been a small incident in which the Prof's blog was deleted before being sent and I suspect he sees a rival blogger as the prime suspect.  This of course could be the beginning of a nasty incident but I think it will be defused in the morning by the Nipper confessing to accidental deletion.
Mum continues to do an outstanding job and would have been in the running for a Knighthood after this event apart the unfortunate choice of cheap Portuguese toilet paper when stocking the boat.  It is hard to have too much of a downer on him because he also suffers the consequences of his unusual meaness and because his faultless cooking.  There has however been some muttering amongst the crew because it is rumoured that the Nipper has his own supply of the good stuff.  However it is probable that a mutiny will be avoided because of the current good fortune of the boat and the closeness of the finish.  That said, it is a very sensitive subject even among hardened sailors.
I must go now because I need to send this before the Prof wakes up and attempts to delete this which would mean that I have set my watchmate Dick Box Dick on him.  On that subject - his washing up has much improved although there were a couple rejects this evening that I felt I could not let through.  His face crumpled slightly when I passed them back but he manfully took it.
I am sorry you have had to suffer this mediocre blog because the Prof's was according to him quite brilliant but no doubt he will be back tomorrow with something equally so.
Further:  Never got a chance to finish or send the blog before the gybe came sooner that expected.  Nice gybe, with kite floated around in around 15 knots.  We are now on the new gybe with the angle looking good.
So far so good.