ARC - Day 18

Donald Macdonald
Thu 10 Dec 2020 15:32
Position  14.36N 58.41W
Last 24 hours have kept the wind of about 11 knots average just hoping it stays till the finish. In that time have carried out 3 gybes the last in pitch black not the best time to be wondering around the foredeck and unable to see the horizon to help keep balance especially when both hands are on the unsecured spinnaker pole whilst getting the new guy on. Luckily no mishaps and all worked well. We needed to do this gybe so we were heading to St Lucia direct not some 30 degrees off. Plotter here says we have 135 nm to go.
Last few nights have been very warm and no extra layers above t-shirts required to keep warm. The side effect of this is that it is even hotter below decks during the day, like now see 37C on thermometer.
Last few nights have been very dark with what's left of the moon not coming up until 05.45 today, so you do get to see lots of shooting stars. The best on I have seen was 5 days ago with this massive brilliant light streak across the sky getting a little dimmer then suddenly really flared up and appeared to have a green outer flame. Brilliant to see, always too short in time.
At least 48 hours before arriving in St Lucia we have to send in a health declaration form. For a small yacht there are some strange questions to answer. Have you had any deaths?; Are they still onboard?; Have you any stowaways and how many? to identify a couple that made me smile.
Dinner this evening I think this evening will be Irish Stew, hot baguette, cheddar cheese then pineapple slices in juice.
WE have been told that ARC Day 16 may not have been published or got through. Here it is repeated below.
Position  16.38N  54.11W
Yesterday not long after blog sent the wind increased to be steady at 10-12 knots and speed increased nicely to 6.5 knots, Harold doing well. Pink spinnaker still up now some 60+ hours. In the pitch black about 5 a.m. we contemplated a gybe and decided against it as the wind was now 15 knots and lots of options for failure when you cannot see all the lines and shorthanded to sort anything out. About 8 a.m., still dark here no daylight till 10 a.m. as staying on UTC, the wind got up more and hand steering required again. At this time also got the latest forecast and that implied we do need to gybe earlier that later as we have a potential to run into another wind hole sometime Wednesday. Although not really light decided moon was giving enough and glad to say gybe carried out without mishap.
Wind is supposed to becoming from about 60-70 degrees but we are consistently getting 100-130 true wind direction making the gybe to climb quite difficult as not prepared to head for projected wind hole. We'll keep working at it. just a little over 400 mile to go.
Sleeping down here is very difficult with the heat, just writing this perspiration is dripping as though in a sauna.
Dinner later will be Heinz Big Soup vegetable and beef, baguette, cheese, then pear halves, not had last night as had extra sliced peaches in juice.