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Date: 24 May 2011 22:44:00
Title: Day 6, 24th May

Diatonic; Tuesday 24 May 2011; 16:00 UTC; 37 15N, 47 57 00W


As we agreed at the start of this cruise their would be no trying to blame individuals and/or pointing of fingers but one crew member (Paul) lashed down the fuel cans on top of the gas bottle locker. This has created a major dilemma since we need to change the gas bottle soon if we are not to end up as skeletons. Paul offered to make amends and consume a tin of cold baked beans but we told him this was the wrong kind of gas.


Eventually after no food and many beers we agreed that the spirit of the rally would demand we make room in our main fuel tank so that we could transfer these jerry cans. This meant starting the engine and motor on full throttle for the the next 26 hours (without penalty).  It was just at this time we entered a "no wind zone" but this had nothing to do with our decision.


Our fantastic weather man (David) with his synopsis and routing skills (with access to ARC weather and other gribs) told us that in order to find some wind we had to do a mission impossible and pass through an area 1 mile wide. He later confessed that he had misread the scale and it was in fact 50 miles wide, a little more achievable, eventually gaining a bit south to get into SE 15kn winds. We are haring along close hauled at 6.5 knots with Paul on the helm. He has taken Davids advice and gone into full racing mode and donned his driving gloves, ditched the main steering wheel and got out his Jenson Button wheel. In order not to be outdone Davids watch saw him dig out our one and only pair of gardening gloves.(These had been made redundant due to lack of fish and a garden in which to BBQ them). Of course we have to go into gentle cruising mode when David wants his beauty sleep.



Yesterday Tony (tried to) bake two loaves. After fondling the dough for 10 mins he put them in the engine room to "prove" and double in size. We should have spotted something was wrong when they came out smelling sweetly of diesel and engine oil but halved in size. Anyway they went in the oven and although the crusts caught fire (fuel mix was wrong) came out looking like a loaf. There was a bit of an argument who should try it first, particularly when David threw a slice overboard (the oily bit) and it sank 4000 metre to the sea bed in less than 2 seconds. After persuadng Paul to try a sandwich he wisely decided not to attempt a swim with the dolphins again as he may also end up on the bottom. 


One of the rituals of our voyage has been David's daily sermon curtailing our sleep. This mornings was about how wet the boat was and that there must be big holes in the hull's bottom. We hunted high and low as the water in the bilges got deeper from the 24 hours of rain and waves crashing through the open campanionway. Eventually Tony mopped it out with the one and only sponge and David went to bed happy.


Paul meanwhile continues to play all his music from his laptop, which the rest of us hate, at the loudest volume in the saloon and cockpit,  . This is also causing major problems with lack of sleep for the watchkeeper during the night. We thought we were in luck when, heeled in force 6 head winds, Pauls laptop became airbourne. Unfortunately for David and Tony, apart from a few missing letters on the keyboard, it escaped destruction and the music continues unabated...




Fantastic news about our Fan club on Facebook has at last come through on a forwarded (Thanks Lyall) email from Mary, president of the club. We can assure you Mary that Sailing Yacht Fred will soon be in the doldrums (or in a severe depression) as Diatonic romps away, so you definately made the right choice for your adoration. The surfer dudes have come to the end of their short lived career. Diatonic’s "Three Amigos" reign supreme.  We offered ARC staff Suzzane the job of cook in Tortola but this was declined in favour of a cushy few days at home. This desirable position is still open to our fan club but mutiny amongst the crew could mean you may end up in Tahiti. We will lookup your man on S/Y Bonobo in Horta and advise him of your promotion and our plans but first could you tell us how big he is. There was an image attached to your email but think it got reduced in size and is unreadable.(need to be about 10K) Anyway this is a big thank you from Diatonic and hope you enjoy the rest of the voyage. Tell your mates there's only one boat in this race.


Well ther are no ships about so its time for our beer lunch and 3 hour afternoon nap so will sign off and look forward to hearng from everyone.




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