Day 28 - things just seem to keep happening to us.............did we not pay the bill?

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Sun 19 Dec 2010 16:07
13.32.118N 57.57.241W
Hello from the Atlantic,  the hardy crew of Andromeda made it through the night encountering real squalls-  what we thought were squalls before pale into comparison.  At first Phil and I thought the weather was being personal as each time we came on watch the heavens opened and we got soaked again but it did choose to get Andrew, we now hovever have put up our cockpit canopy and that will keep us a little bit more dry and give us somewhere to put wet things.
We are busy trolling along at 4.5 knots  towards Barbados where we hope to be able to get Nick and Phil on a flight to St. Lucia in time to get them back for Xmas.We have been in contact with a rigging service so we shall see what needs to be done thereafter.
How quickly things change.  We had a great day to start with yesterday, all the usual mooching about doing our little chores and nappping when we could. Vanesssa had the helm so we decided to play scrabble for a change and then Phil made his butter nut squash risotto which we thoroughly recommend if you get the chance to try it, we had washed up and was just getting everything settled for the night and Nick asked about the rigging, I was just going below to the powder room and commented that I wasn't really worried about it because we had had it checked so many times before we left the Canaries (obvously after the forestay incident in the Azores, then we had another check in Lanzarote and because we were being extra careful had two riggers (long story) check it in Grna  Canaria) wouldn't you know it, there was a bang and Nick was rushing below to tell me we were dismasted and we needed all the tools we could find to get rid of the rigging.  It seemed like an age before we had the various hacksaws etc out and Andrew, Nick and Phil were busily cutting shrouds etc.  I got things ready for the grab bag and got the Epirb ready to set off and then activated it after making a Mayday call. Of course nothing came back on the radio,with the mast down so was the arial but a couple of minutes later the phone rang and it was Chris asking if we were ok as he had been contacted by Falmouth MRCC as our point of contact for the Epirb.  I told him what had happened and he called Falmouth to let them know it was accidental.  Within moments Falmouth MRCC was another very welcome voice on the phone, we appraised them of our situation and that we were trying to jettison the mast etc.  We checked for water ingress and fortunately found none. We then had the MRCC from Port au Prince on informing us that they were monitoring us and had 3 boats in the vicinity if needed.  Fortunately again they weren't.  By now the mast had been cut free and everywhere checked for lines over the side and then the very welcome sound of the engine being turned on.  We were able to get moving again. We now started making our was at about 4 knots and after checking the charts realised that Barbados was nearer by 70/80 miles so changed course.
I am exceedingly proud of the crew of Andromeda, everyone got on and did just what they needed to do with no fuss but I am sure we will have a few shakes once we get to Barbados, for now we know you will be thinking of us as we make our was there, we anticipate making landfall sometime tomorrow.  For now the squall has stopped, the sun is coming out again - all be it a bit hazy and its time for lunch.
We would at this stage like to say thank you to the WCC folks for the organisation of the ARC2010 - we unfortunately were not able to make the final ceremony due to generator problems and a stop in Cape Veredes, but thank you anyway and we wish you well for the future. For us the ARC201 has been more memorable than any of us could have realised or indeed have wished for. We would have loved to have crossed the line in Rodney Bay but it is/was not to be........bye for now.
More in due course,
Susan, Andrew, Nick & Phil
Andromeda of Plymouth.
Andrew & Susan
S/V Andromeda