ARC Day 15 - Have the trade winds finally arrived?

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 6 Dec 2010 09:46

Position           12:48.79N 041:35.15W

Date                2359 UTC Sunday 5 December 2010


When sending the email of yesterday’s diary we received an updated weather briefing from Chris Tibbs, a meteorologist well known in yachting circles, who gave pre-ARC lectures and provides weather support during the ARC.  He said that for yachts as far south as ourselves and at our longitude we should by Sunday expect stronger trade winds to replace the light winds that we have had for the last week or more.  Furthermore we should expect a line of squalls to lie between the two wind patterns.  Well in the early hours of the morning we passed through a very impressive line of squalls; or rather they passed through us! 


We eventually hit proper trade winds at about 1600 UTC this afternoon and changed from asymmetric to genoa.  This is much more hard work than it should be as with only one working halyard we have to completely remove the chute and then hoist the genoa up the track.  It took about 90 minutes but was well worth it.  We hope that the current plain sail plan will work for most of the rest of the trip.  We are currently making about 8nm in the hour on 291Mag, our direct course to St Lucia.


The successful evolution was followed by another Blue Peter Spag Bog and as a special treat and pandering to my more basic childhood tastes, Butterscotch Instant Whip.  Supplies in the freezer are bearing up and the Mate still has meals in hand for the completion of the trip.


Our current boat time is 2 hours behind UTC (For traditionalists - GMT).  St Lucia is 4 hours behind so we have another 2 hours to adjust.  As we are now west of 40 degrees of longitude tonight is probably a good night to take off another hour.


At midnight UTC, 2200 boat time, the log (through the water) showed 2,007nm.  The distance over the ground was 1,968nm, the difference being represented by current and possibly calibration error in the log.



Editors note – in the entry of two days ago I referred to the baking of a carrot cake.  This cake was in fact a Banana and Walnut Cake.  I apologise for this error and the distress that it may have caused amongst our readers’.