" A Lady" trip The A.R.C. Las Palmas to St Lucia,, Avoiding the recession in style

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Tue 1 Dec 2009 11:35
MONDAY 30th November 2009
08.00 hrs . The wind was only 12 knots and for us ,it felt like a flat calm, We were almost suisicidal worried about our position and to boot it
was very dull and overcast
09.00 hrs  We read arnaud's weather report and surveyed the photo he sent showing our position, FANTASTIC, we were still up there
so all the spirits were raised again, actually , modern technology is great, we got a google photo of the race from Paul ( Hyde ) and this again showed the position of all the competitors.
ARNAUD suggested we stay south of 19N and we should should have a nice breeze.
10.00 the wind increased from the east to 20 / 25knots and off we went heading to our destination , but with a strong southerly aspect in line with Arnauds suggestions.
11.00 The crew cleaned and polished the boat from head to toe, or in nautical term's , from stem to stern, even under all floor boards.
11.20. OUR POSITION  18 18 056 N
                                    39 31 177 W
13.00hrs   miles to finish.   1231 nm
                miles travelled   1540 nm
15.00 hrs The wind was veering E.S.E.  so we decided to gybe, and while we were at it, we redid the sheets, guy's and halyard's,
all of these had frayed from 5 days flying the KITE. 
Mark did a splendid job of sewing leather ,yet again around the guy's and halyard where the were likely to fray.  KITE up again and off we went.
However the wind began to fade and suddenly , we could see another yacht approaching from astern  . CHRIST ! where did that ***  come from,
We worked hard to make the boat go fast , but alas the wind was only 12/13 knots and not suitable for a 35 ton yacht.
Meanwhile Dermot had prepared a PASTA ALBACORE with tuna and chillies, fantistic   YUM,YUM ,  starting to eat our way across the ocean.
22.00 A dirtyy big black cloud appeared on the horizon and headed our way,
Boy ! did it bring Arnaud's wind, yes yes and lots more beside, we thought (as one would ) that this is a squall and would blow over,
Well it bloody well dident,The squall blew like stink and when it passed it was still blowing shite, 25 / 30 nkots and gusting 36/37
It took all we could do to hold on to the boat as we still had a full main up along with the KITE
Still we were doing a steady 10 knots and touched 12 & 13 regularly
We felt surly no one else could carry a Kite in this stuff, and thats assuming they had this wind which ARNAUD had organised specially for us.
Fantastic sailing , but at times our heart's were on the deck with the flying fish. phew, However perhaps we put a few miles between us and the others.
Till tomorrow,
Stephen Hyde    skipper