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

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Wed 2 Dec 2009 14:40
TUESDAY 1st December 2009
00.00hrs  We were flying  the KITE and full main as the wind began to build,
before long it was blowing 25 /30 knts and gusting 36, Oh! oh oh, We were certainly not, expecting this, and worse it blew like this all night,
02.00 we reefed the main, and were still averaging 10 knts, and regularly reaching over 12 knts and occasionaly almost touching 14 knots
WOW , exciting sailing and the positive take ! we may have this breeze to ourselves, that could do a lot for our position. relative to the other
Oyster 56's. Still we are well up ther , so hopefully we can stay there.
04.00 we rolled up the main completely and sailed under the KITE only. still maintaining our speed.
06.30 we got the crew on deck and decided to drop the KITE. the wind was almost constant at 35 knots and eventually something would have to give.
The crew got it down almost professionaly , did a great job in pritty stff conditions. Mark and John were at the bow and had to deal with a violant
spinniker in rough enough conditions. Mark being the main man..
07.00 We were now goosewingging our way towards St Lucia under white sail and still travelling along at 9 / 10 knots
We had lots of rain during the night and some violant squall's.
Arnaud said, " stay south of 19N and you should have 15 / 20knot breeze"   Well done Arnaud, we certainly had a breeze and a half , if not two.
anyway, much, much better than sitting around with no wind.
We sailed all day like this, we had frankfurthers in fresh baggets for lunch and the crew played cards for the afternoon,
This was the first time on the trip that they had nothing to do, and it was still very cloudy outside. Later Mark repaired the badly worn guy and halyard.
19.00 we reached 1000 nm to the finish, so on day 9 we had travelled 1777 n miles
20.00 Dinner of steak and onions ,plus spuds and bean's , prepared and cooked by John and Jenny,, YUM yum
22.00 the skipper called for the spinniker as the wind was getting lighter and did not want to loose any advantage gianed during last night.
         this nearly caused a mutuny on board among the crew, but the skipper was having none of this crap, so up went the KITE and we sailed
         off merrily into the night sky,  LOVELY BREEZE AND NICE SAILING.
Till Tomorrow
Stephen Hyde,    skipper