ARC Day 18 - Pole dancing on the foredeck

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Thu 9 Dec 2010 00:12

Position           13:32.24N 51:22.25W

Date                2359 UTC Wednesday 8 December 2010


Towards dawn the seas became quieter and with the same wind strength and direction gave a more comfortable ride. We managed 203nm for the 24 hours to 1300 UTC.  This was over the ground; if you take the log distance, i.e. through the water, the distance is 194nm there being a favourable current of 3/8 kt.  Either of these figures are a boat best for us.


Well we are carrying on trucking but getting to the stage – we will “be glad when we have had enough” (quote attributed to GF).  Having said that, we appear to have achieved a happy perpetual motion.  Not dissimilar to when we cycled Lands End o John o’Groats; you get to the stage where firstly you cannot imagine a day when you do not get on your bicycle and pedal and secondly and contradicting (1) you would rather like to have a change.


Given the fact of being left with only the one halyard, when we last took down the cruising chute, as the stronger winds kicked in, and re-threaded the genoa up the track we resolved to finish the trip under genoa whatever the wind.  Well the wind has just veered and dropped a little in strength so we have hoist the bearing out pole (for those of a sheltered disposition, hence the reference to pole dancing) and all seems well and stable again.  The brackets holding the pole to the mast when stowed came away some days ago and we have been bouncing along with it lashed to the mast as best we could.  Now it is deployed, if it has to be taken in we will leave it resting on the pulpit as it is probably safer there – I have always wanted a bowsprit.


Our yellow brick tracking device supplied by the ARC has decided that we have been at sea too long and gone on strike.  It gave a position at 0600 this morning but decline to speak for 1200.  I have pushed the button on the base which is supposed either to manually trigger a transmission or reboot it but of course the only confirmation that something has happened will be after 1200 tomorrow when we get a report of all of the yachts positions by email.


Notwithstanding all of that, at 2359 UTC 8 Dec we had 557nm to go to our waypoint at the NE corner of St Lucia, about 7.5nm from the finish.  The course has been 292Mag for the last 3-4 days and the wind is currently 20 kts 80deg mag.  Getting the true and magnetic is quite important here as with a magnetic variation of 18 degrees it could cause the odd confusion if not a distinct nonsense; arriving in either Martinique or St Vincent and wondering where all of the ARC boats were.  The more I think about it the more I admire those who did the early ARC’s without the advantages of GPS and chart plotters.  No wonder they moved the finish from Barbados, it was too easy to miss!


The catering report reveals Boeuf Stroganoff; a good reward for pole dancing on the foredeck.