Approaching Falmouth

Chiscos - Atlantic Cruise
John Simpson
Sat 16 Jun 2012 12:56

49:02.945n 006:32.000w
Well, we have all pretty much recovered from the awful weather we had the other day, and now we know we aren't going to die we are thoroughly enjoying our last few days at sea!  The wind abated slightly and we now have some very exciting sailing conditions - force 7-8 with slightly less bigger seas than before, both are directly behind us so we are storming our way straight to Falmouth.  John has just informed us that we have sailed 178 miles in the last 24 hours, which is our best daily run ever, 155 is the next best, around 140 being the average!  Desperate to get to Falmouth we have had maybe a little too much sail out and so have been hand-steering since yesterday morning to make the most out of the conditions.  We have been helming for 3 hours on/6 off and we are using the time at the wheel fantasising about the Sunday dinner accompanied by several beverages that is waiting for us in the Chain Locker pub.  We even wondered if they take reservations by SSB, if not it is something we will suggest to them! The wind is forecast to die early tomorrow morning (Sunday) but we are hopeful the wind will stay with us until we get there.  Our ETA at the moment is sometime during the night tonight or early tomorrow morning, well in time for breakfast we hope and much earlier than we anticipated.
Since leaving the Caribbean sunshine we have had our fair share of rough weather (as we fully expected) and so here are some of Chiscos' top tips for storm preparation that we have learnt on the way.  In no particular order....
1) Ban Bananas.  They bring bad luck!  Eat them if you must, but ideally discard overboard.
2) Do a thorough rig check - A day before this storm, John did a quick walk round to find a pin in the backstay bent and in danger of working loose.  Easy(ish) to fix, otherwise could have been a disaster.
3) Food will end up on the floor - it's nice if the floor is so clean you could eat your dinner off of it. Literally.
4) Prepare the Guinness book of Chiscos records.  With all this wind there have been some brilliant records made - see below.
5) Allow your crew to have a pre-storm shower, hairwash and blow dry - improves their performance/morale no end.
6) Ensure all hatches are shut at all times (especially when sat on the loo)
Records so far:
Highest wave - 8 metres (this is a guestimate but there is a complicated formula to calculate this involving your shoe size and the distance between your thumb and little finger)
Greatest amount of water dumped in the cockpit by a single wave - at least 3 medium-sized bath tubs full
Highest wind speed - 48.5kts
And the big one...
Highest speed over ground - a whopping 17.1 kts (achieved by Mr John Simpson, we thought it was only right we let him have this, it is his boat after all!)