Chiscos - Atlantic Cruise
John Simpson
Sun 13 May 2012 11:04
32:22.73n 064:40.264w
Skipper exhausted after a hard night! We decided to bring the parasailor down for the night which turned out to be a very wise decision.  Just as John went on watch he was heard to say 'I think it's going to rain in a minute'... Precisely one minute later the heavens opened, the thunder was rumbling and the lightening flashing all around us!  Unfortunately we were goose winged with the genoa poled out and a preventer on the main so we had no choice but to run with it until the conditions subsided enough for us to reef the sails.  By this time it was dawn and as the wind had calmed a little, we were desperate to reach Bermuda quickly and in style so the parasailor went up again.  The skipper decided this was his moment to grab forty winks but alas the weather had other ideas!  The pressure fell quickly and the clouds looming behind us did not look very friendly at all.  The crew were reluctant to wake the skipper but we eventually realised it was not going to get any better.  We somehow managed to get the beast (our beloved parasailor) down in 28-30 knots of wind and just in the nick of time as the weather turned into a real storm.  At this stage we just had the genoa out. With the wind reaching 45 knots and being consistently in the 30s, Chiscos was bombing along and surfing down the waves.
The crew pleased to be finally approaching 'sunny' Bermuda! Ten miles away from our destination, the storm died and the wind swung round to the north - exactly the direction we needed to go so we resigned ourselves to motor the last few miles. Our GPS told us we were 3 miles from the entrance to Bermuda yet we still could not see any land.  We wondered how in the past the ships without any electronics managed to navigate in such circumstances and also felt lucky not to have been struck by lightening which could have wiped it all out!      
After a loooong and decent nights sleep we were ready and raring to get into the swing of Bermudan life and back to our duties of getting ready for the next adventure.  We filled up with fuel, which was essential as we had motored some 65 hours in total! 
Its not all been such hard work however, and we managed to relax and have a 'couple' of beers at the pirate party last night.  It was great to see all the other crews and also our friends from the ARC on Time Bandit who we haven't seen since Christmas.
Towards the end of the night the skipper got slightly carried away with Felix from The Pinta!  Notice that the precious beer bottle is somehow still vertical, not a drop to be wasted!
We also managed to find a banjo player and another violinist, so provided our headaches get better we might have a musical afternoon.  Our main priority now though is to recover in time for the prize giving (ie. more drinks) tonight! Today is probably our only day for a bit of R & R as tomorrow (Monday) we need to make a start on our never ending jobs list, which now includes finding a welder to fix the cracked exhaust box and locating a new gasket head fitting for the engine.  So we're not partying all the time...honest!
Mikaela & Corinne