ARC Day 12 - Squally weather

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Fri 3 Dec 2010 09:41

Position           13:17.16N 34:26.64W

Date                2359 UTC Thursday 2 December 2010


0100UTC saw us deduct another hour as we go west.  We are now working on UTC -2, ie 2 hours behind UK.  This means that I can write this diary during the midnight watch.  We have a further two hours to deduct as we go west in order to arrive in the same time zone as St Lucia.


A very varied day (Note understatement).  Starting with poling out the genoa at 0500 and then spotting incoming squalls on the radar at 0600.  First light revealed a very impressive text book cumulus nimbus squall cloud with heavy rain:



This took some time to arrive and when it did we had a very good dump of rain to wash the accumulated salt off the decks.  The photograph of our chart plotter / rader display shows our boat as the black marker in the middle of the action.


 The squall was followed by a couple of hours of virtually no wind.  When the wind eventually returned we decided that, given all of the weather information available to us, we should make further progress south to try and get below 13 degrees north in an attempt to secure the best advantage from the mythical trade winds that are forecast to return over the weekend.  We are still over 1,500nm from St Lucia, which is at 14 degrees north so the extra distance south an easily be absorbed over that distance provided that we can have some days with a decent wind.


Lunch was a Spanish omelette in glorious post squall sunshine, and not much wind.  Dinner was a Fray Bentos chicken pie, they really are very good, and another version of delicious banana ice cream.  Dinner was somewhat more boisterous than lunch as in the middle of preparation a squall went through and this time the wind did not drop afterwards.  The Mate is getting really very good at coping with a 3D mobile galley; it is amazing what 12 days at sea can do for the coordination and ability to cope with a rolling environment.


We are now, just after midnight UTC, reaching along at 7 knots, there is a clear sky full of stars, there is no moon so it is rather dark and I cannot see a thing forward and the dress code is shorts no shirt with a very acceptable temperature of 28 degree C.  Sorry, rather different from the UK.