Sailing around the World ( Presently at sea on our way to Australia )

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Sat 17 Jul 2010 11:41
SATURDAY  17th  JULY  2010
00.00hrs We have 75 miles to travel to the first waypoint on the sailing instructions, this waypoint is positioned to keep the fleet
away from " reefs D'Entrecasteuz " a very nasty collection of reefs,
The wind is basically all over the place for us, one minute it is directly behind, the next minute it could be ahead or on the beam,
and of course when it went behind us , we set up goosewinging, that lasted all of 15mins, before we had to take it down again,,
well blow us down, but , and theres always a but,  " thats sailing "  and of course, this happened in the middle of the night.
The Moon was small and lying on its back, not a good sign..
We could see a couple of other yachts behind us, nothing in front that we could see.
01.30hrs, the wind had increased to 20 knots, but no matter what we did with trimming, we could not get more than 6.5 knots ,
tis like as if we had an anchor or a bucket tied onto us,  dead in the water,,,,,,,, and were not used to this...
then, we had a strong current against us so we had a choppy sea,   gosh , not really a good night.
06.00hrs  We could clearly see 2 boats behind, so we got one of them on the radio, it turned out to be " Choi "  pronounced Chow, as in goodbye.
08.00hrs, with 25 miles to the waypoint, we put up the blue chute again,( Spinniker ) and immidiatly our speed shot up to 8.5 / 9 knots.
We also had lots of rain during the night, just for good measure.
09.00hrs,, RADIO  CALL  , every morning at 09 hrs, there is a fleet radio call, this is to make sure everyone is ok and give our positions.
plus wind strength, and if we used our engines, and if so, for how long,
Anyway, it turns out that there are just 2 boats ahead of us,   " Ocean Jasper "  and their fellow american   " Crazy Horse "  both Sundeer  60's.
a long way ahead, 39 miles , How the hell did they get that far ahead !
Ohhhh  shite,, there is a bloody hole in our spinniker up high, about level with the top spreaders, and that is where our big KITE ripped apart,
damn, there must be something up there snagging the sails,,  so we took it down before it got any worse,, oh , not a good day.
12.00hrs, we had passed our waypoint and set a new one at the Great Barrier Reef , a mere 715 miles away to the west. we had
completed 300 odd miles or so, not with any great record breaking stuff.  150 miles a day...
However the wind was hardning as the morning went into the afternoon, by 13.00hrs  we had 2 reefs in the headsail and 1 reef in the Mainsail
and we were still powdering along at a steady 9.5 knots,  all on a beam reach  , exciting sailing and the boat was as steady as a rock.
This we havent seen before, a pair of Boobies ( the same as our Gannets ) hovering around the boat for a 1/2 hour or so, scooping up the
flying fish trying to escape the path of " A Lady ".............  fantastic to watch,      grab that ,
Oh, We almost forgot to mention,  when skipper went to the dive center in Port Vila, last monday, to get the diving tank filled , he asked the boss there
if she would give him, or sell him an adaptor for his tank, and she said they had none to spare,, 
So as he watched one of the men fill the tank, he asked him the same question,  " any spare adaptors ? "
Skipper turned on the " Blarney " again , and next thing, your man winked , went rooting in a gadgy box, and produced an adaptor,
saying to skipper,  " Say nothing to your one , or I'll get fired." 
God, do you know something, that Blarney stuff is worth its weight in gold.
All afternoon, the wind was on the beam, ranging from 28  /  36 knots, and we were loving it all.
We covered 52.7 miles in 6 hours,  and just over 100miles from midday to midnight to night.
Dinner by Scotty,   Bangers and mash, with some lovely carrots, the cheese and onion lamb bangers, were cooked in onions and garlic,  yummy stuff.
all the way from N.Z,
As it was windy and cool, we dined in the " Royal Saloon "
Night watches :-               21.00hrs     /     00.00hrs            Skipper
                                       00.00hrs    /     03.00hrs             Scotty
                                       03.00hrs    /     06.00hrs             Aileen
                                       06.00hrs    /     09.00hrs             Skipper
Thats it for today,
Signed  :-     Stephen Hyde    ( Skipper )