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Date: 14 May 2011 23:51:00
Title: Diatonic the Journey Continues - Bermuda

14th May 2011

32 22.4N 64 47.9W



HuRRaY !!! Writing this in Bermuda and have at last managed to get our communications to work., We can now receive Love Letters from home, but alas our mailboxes were empty


We have spent the first 2 weeks without e-mail access so couldn't bring you updates on the journey thus far - So will try to layout the Voyage to this update.......


The Crew Arrived at Tortola in the BVI's (as you can see from the state of the cabin). We and had 5 days to prepare for sea and enjoy the glorious location at Nanny Cay marina with its own private beach and pool.  ARC Europe laid on some parties so that we could weigh up the competition - "we're screwed", Diatonic is the smallest yacht in the fleet.  Undaunted we continued our daily routine of drinking beer and sleeping in preparation for the race......



After lots of shopping, even finding room for a few cans of food, we signed on for the big showdown.




The race started 5th May and Diatonic launched her cruising shute, and with no one anywhere near gliding across the line taking the starting pistol in pole position - making sure the committee boat had great pictures passing close to her starboard side. We were so well prepared we even had time to offer Susana, ARC Europe staff, a position of Cook on-board as we passed but unfortunately she declined this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Within 10 minutes of the start the wind died and Diatonic's status was less privileged when we were overtaken by the majority of the fleet. We just knew those cans of food were the problem.  We headed north towards Bermuda, motor sailing with most of the fleet in dead calms for the next 2 days  A depression over Bermuda bought in very heavy weather and close hauled in 40 knot northerlies ended up with lots of sea over the decks and unfortunately inside the saloon too. This resulted in damp saloon bunks and two further major depressions centred directly above David & Paul.


The Skipper (Tony) suffered bouts of sea sickness during the rough weather and was obviously deep in thought about the situation as he was mostly horizontal with his eyes closed. Poor Diatonic suffered a few casulties, the masthead tri-light was ripped off, diesel drums on deck slightly ruptured and the main electrical drowned in sea water causing bouts of tantrums to the rest of the navigation lights. This put us in the dark for a short period during the night and being afraid of the dark, David was sent below.


Our satphone data comms was down and due to the lack of detailed weather reports we missed the more favourable winds to the west of Bermuda and so carried on motor sailing straight into the teeth of the gales to St Georges.  Our UK based Keith Rauer however did a sterling job providing us with weather reports by voice on the satellite  phone. This gave us hope we could enter St Georges under the extremely tough weather conditions but unfortunately Keith forgot to mention these weather reports were about his home town Liverpool. 


Bermuda was a welcome refuge, clearing customs in 30 minutes we headed for the pub at 1am. Bermuda was chock-a-block due to the bad weather with yachts from far and wide that had diverted or postponed sailing in favour of the protection. We had to raft up for a few days and wait for the weather to pass before US bound ARC Atlantic 1500 and other yachts departed.



We started our 20 hour days on  repairs and recuperation duties, but can’t give a breakdown as it may incriminate us ! Give us a break. More next time.







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