Tue 2 Dec 2008 15:45

Position 17:44.137N  031:14.169W


The sea has blackened, our flags are dancing again, Freres de La Cote, then ARC and then Chile. We are back in wind and making 7kts. These are not the trades, which remain interrupted, but a steady south easterly allowing us to reach directly for St. Lucia. This point of sail is more comfortable for us as have more experience on it. It also means that with this wind strength, 15-18kts, we are moving a lot faster than we would with the same force astern. The pole is now redundant which makes things easier still and the trajectory of loose items around the cabin can be more accurately predicted.


We took a risk not going further south to where we knew the wind was loitering and it seems to have paid off. We are hoping that other boats have not taken this gamble which would put us in a stronger position. Damian in Clifden has helped with our tactical forecasting here as he has access to much more weather information than we have on board. A quick help email yesterday was answered promptly and we immediately altered course to 263T.


Tom went for a wash over the stern yesterday and could see the net, which was originally on the keel still wrapped on the propeller. The blades are therefore not feathering. If we are becalmed again I will investigate further but for now we must use every puff of wind we can find.


The wind is the matrix on which we build our daily chatter. Shouts of “four”, “nine” or “there’ a lot of wind in those clouds over there” spark off hours banter which usually finish with one of Jeanots stories. I wonder sometimes what we would be talking about if we were on a motor boat.


The flying fish have slowed our progress also. There are so many on deck they must weigh us down and I would give anything for a shovel. Tom spotted a cloud of them leap for the cover of sky today as a tuna raised his head from underneath.


Last evening as the wind built we had our sliver of moon again with Venus sitting brightly underneath. On watch as we move in the dark I can almost tell the point of attaining 4.8 knots as the fizz of dissolving Sopladeine on a bedside table develops from under the leeward side of the hull, this fizz, soothing as its medicinal counterpart, is replaced by a hissing as she reaches 5, then a mild splashing.


I have managed to swap my washing up duties for my supply of lolly pops today. I knew from the minute Ursula gave me my emergency goodie bag that therein lay something that could later be used as currency, I put them away carefully, my investment has proven sound.


I have found another way of passing the night watch and stayed an extra 45 mins just to finish our voyage Limericks. With the help of the rest of the crew we will do our best to publish one per day:


Cerys loves this journey I’d say

From Las Palmas to Rodney Bay

She keeps us quite safe

With minimal chafe

And comfy when underway