Terry/ Nicola Flinn
Thu 7 Dec 2006 12:06
19:03.000N 38:00.000W
Thursday 7th December; Day12.
At 6am local time, we passed a significant milestone on our ARC voyage: we were half way to St Lucia, 1363 miles completed, 1363 miles to go.We had "Half way There" by Bon Jovi blasting from the stereo as well as several other songs with half way in the title.
So it's party time, and tonight we're holding a garden party to which everyone is invited for BBQ steak and jacket potatoes. Dress swimming costumes and flip-flops, bring your own drink, especially water, but unfortunately we can't put you up overnight as accommodation is a bit limited.
The fun-meter is still stuck near 'high' especially as the skipper approved a very quick shower on Day 9 and we enjoyed an extended visit from a Whale on Day10. It was Eric who spotted it first, about 20 feet away, swimming parallel to us.
It was a lovely, sunny morning, we're doing 6 knots with 25 knots of wind right behind us and a really big rolling sea.
We all dived for our cameras, thinking that as per normal, the whale would quickly disappear. But no, there it was again, right behind us, staying very close to our towed generator  - oh dear, hope it's not hungry!
After a few minutes, it moved out to our starboard and made a pass right under the boat, rolling onto its side, displaying the white colour on its pectoral flippers. It's a Minke Whale, about 10 metres in length and it occasionally lifts its head and snout out of the water.
Again and again it swims under the boat  - oh dear, hope it's just inquisitive and not frisky!
It stayed with us for about 15 minutes, took a 10 minute break and then came back for another visit.
To see the whole body of the whale, suspended inside a big wave, backlit by the sun, was a truly unforgettable experience.
We've used up half the water in our tanks and we're getting a bit short of coffee and bottled water. The fruit has lasted pretty well and the sliced loaves are still fresh, much longer than we anticipated, so we haven't had to start baking our own yet.
Fishing has been put on temporary hold because the full moon means that the fish aren't biting. However, as we have moved into more tropical waters, we find 3 or 4 flying fish lying on our decks each morning, but we haven't tried to cook them yet.
Things are going well on board and despite the large swell and Force 6 winds on our tail, we're all well rested and still talking to each other!