Half way there (about)
Rob & Frances Lythgoe
Tue 25 Nov 2014 19:07
Today marks the half way point of our Atlantic crossing between Cape Verde and St Lucia, 1,043 miles back or 1,043 ahead. We have had a meeting and on balance we have decided to carry on. I was going to say that we are over 1,000 miles from land for a bit of dramatic effect, but in fact Suriname (go look it up) is only 950 miles south west of here so its not so bad after all. These are of course nautical miles and we are actually 1,092 land miles from Suriname which we will now revert to just for today to make us sound like real adventurers. We are over 1,000 miles from land!
We started the day by wrapping the spinnaker around and between our two headsails which was fun. This is a huge, and I mean huge, 225 square meter kite that is seriously powerful. It will pull our home which when fully laden with water and fuel probably displaces 18 tonnes, through water at over 10kts (12mph), so trying to pull it down again once powered up can be a problem. It has only come out of its locker once so far this trip, on the way down from Las Palmas. That occasion almost ended in disaster so it has taken another 1,500 miles or so for us to pluck up the courage to try again. The time before that was in Corsica in June which also went badly and it wasn’t repaired until we got to Malta. It went up a treat though and was quite a sight to behold, so Chris thought as it was such a success we should take it down straight away and practice just to get our confidence up. Oh dear! Next time was not quite so successful and it took quite a while and a lot of energy to get the ‘cat back in it the bag’. I sighed in relief that we had managed this without damaging anything and was thinking of bed as I had been on watch since 4 am, when Frances in her inimitable style decided we shouldn’t be put off and that we should try again. The crew voted and so to avoid a mutiny and to prove I was right I let them go again. What a disaster. We finally got it down after a long and tense battle and it is now safely away never to see light of day again. Skipper has spoken. I have been forced to make a few life changes in recent years to reduce stress, and I’m not about to let all that good work be undone by a brightly coloured piece of rip-stop nylon; that isn’t what this adventure is all about!
FOR SALE: One Symmetric Spinnaker, 225 Sqm, red and white, hardly used. All serious offers considered.
Half way celebrations started prematurely with an amazingly light coffee and walnut cake that Elaine whipped up whilst all the excitement was going on up at the pointy end. Elaine then whipped up a Victoria sponge with lemon curd when she remembered that Chris has an allergy to coffee. This was preceded by Confit of Pork and local cheeses (not local to where we are now.....obviously). This evening we will be dining at or very close to the half way point so we are having pan fried sirloin steak in a cream of mushroom sauce with garlic and onion potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The boat is always run ‘dry’ on passage which means no alcohol to those of you that will be unfamiliar with the concept. This evening however, skipper has allowed a rum ration to be distributed amongst the crew who have unanimously voted to trade that in for half a glass of red from our 5L box and Frances has a beer in the fridge as we aren’t opening a bottle of white just for her.