ARC Day 16 - The day of the Triffids

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Tue 7 Dec 2010 09:36

Position           13:05.12N 44:42.35W

Date                2359 UTC Monday 6 December 2010


We have had the most varied of days. Through to 1900 UTC, 1600 boat time, we had a real rollercoaster of a ride; a fast beam reach giving regular speeds of 8  to 9 knots in a rolling sea.  It may have been a little uncomfortable but after so many slow days it was fabulous sailing.  This was followed by a series of squalls that seemed to knock the stuffing out of the wind for a period and gave a wind shift towards the stern which slowed us a little but not much. 


At 1200, boat time, we passed a major milestone – 1,000 nm to go to St Lucia.  With our best daily run ever of 189nm, over the ground, it is beginning to look as though we might make St Lucia if not the day that Andrew arrives, 12 December, the day after that.


A feature of the last few days have been, what friends on another yacht have dubbed, “Triffids”.  These squalls appear on the radar screen as pulsating orange blobs that march across the screen bringing with them an increase and veer of the wind (a clockwise shift) and often rain in large quantities.  They obviously possess intelligence because they judge to a fine degree the Skipper going off watch and falling asleep as the time to pop up over the horizon.  We have had three major attacks today, the third one being as I write this.  There is a fine balance to be struck between keeping full sail up as long as possible to gain form the extra wind speed and reducing sail so that the boat remains under control.


Triffids also sense meal times.  The attack at about 1400 successfully delayed lunch for two hours.  It was worth waiting for – UK sourced sausages and dauphinoise potatoes eaten in a damp but rapidly drying cockpit.


Under the guise of being the only one of us able to reach the bottom of the freezer, the Mate suffers from the freezer version of short arms and long pockets, I was allowed to inspect the contents the freezer.  Amazing what was in there – bodes well for catering in the Caribbean;  note – we require to purchase a larger barbeque before visitors arrive.  Someone however appears to have stolen my supply of ice creams!  The Mate denies all knowledge; must be Rodney (the boat mascot).