ARC Day 19 - Another trade wind day

Position           13:43.26N 54:37.03W

Date                2359 UTC Thursday 9 December 2010

 

Oh how we looked forward to these days only a week ago.  Consistency is the name of the game and we have now spent over 6 days reaching and running on the same magnetic course directly towards our waypoint at the north end of St Lucia, now only 367nm away.

 

The last 24 hours have seen little variation in the wind.  The wave patterns provide the entertainment.  Firstly you have the ocean swell, today from the North East and 3 to 4 metres.  On top of that you have the main wave pattern of 1 to 1.5 metres and not from the same direction as the swell.  Both of these can come from conditions many hundreds if not thousands of miles away.  Add to all of this, local effects from squalls and the like and you can have 3 or 4 different wave patterns overlaid and competing for your attention.  A random occurrence of all of the wave patterns combining is capable of producing a great deal of water around the place. Fortunately we have a well protected and dry cockpit.

 

We had a great daylight sail, sunshine, decent wind and an interesting rolling motion, Elizabeth now understands why sailors traditionally could be spotted by their rolling walk. Not a squall in sight until dusk then in the dark a steady stream with a little rain but not enough to wash off the accumulated salt on the decks and fittings.

 

The constant rolling so typical of down wind sailing produces interesting solutions to practical problems.  Elizabeth has created a real “Noddy Trough” (an Army term for a sleeping bag or bunk) for hot bunking (two people using the same berth – not at the same time) in the aft cabin using two lee cloths (canvas screens fixed to stop you rolling out of a berth), pillows and sleeping bags wrapped in sheets.  It is remarkably comfortable and assists a decent sleep.  The photograph shows our third crew member, Rodney, modelling the creation.

 

 

Excitement at our end of the fleet is mounting as more boats see the finish getting near.  Tales of damaged sails and rigging indicate the effect of 3 weeks constant wear and tear and also that some more competitively minded skippers are perhaps pushing a little too hard in the prevailing conditions.  Not that we can sound smug, we are nursing our surviving foresail halyard and have no practical ability to fly anything other than plain sail.  Progress is however not at all bad despite the constraints.

 

Variety from the catering department today.  Beef Rogan Josh, prepared in Las Palmas, complete with freshly cooked pappadums.  The skipper is allowed to cook pappadums as the Mate finds it difficult to get at the microwave without launching herself head first into it as the boat rolls.

 

Ice creams! Previous allegations that the Mate had been secretly scoffing them whilst on watch are unfounded, she discovered, or is that confessed to, a collection of three Mars and Snickers ice creams hiding in the bottom of the freezer.  These were real old friends as they were purchased in Dartmouth in July. 

 

(The translator’s notes are to assist the avoidance of misunderstandings)