ARC - Day 17

Donald Macdonald
Wed 9 Dec 2020 16:42
Position 15.22N 56.20W
No rain for last 24 hours just clear sky's and at night millions of stars until the moon rises at 5 a.m. We gybed to a more southerly course yesterday evening to clear a predicted light wind area. This we could do at 7 knots but 30 degrees of direction of St Lucia. This morning gybed onto course direct for destination. During past hour wind veered 30 degrees so gybed back on to port. Gybes take a little longer than normal due to having a gybe preventer rigged to back of boom and to foredeck before runs back to cockpit. With preventer still on gybe could not happen to how all the other lines interact in routing with it to ensure nothing rubs each other. 10 knots of breeze presently and expecting it to drop a little tonight or in the morning. Under 300 miles to go.
After not seeing any type of vessel for over a week at dusk could see some navigations lights ahead of us, AIS confirmed it was another competitor Veni Vidi Vixi some 5 miles ahead. We we were going lower than her so never got closer, she is now 11.6 nm miles away behind on starboard quarter.
Second encounter a lot closer this was with L'Octant a big catamaran 15m long by 9m in beam. Initially saw a green light so I have right away so just got on with sailing in the dark. As we converged in the dark the lights on the boat to mine and John's knowledge was just garbage so was difficult to work out stern and/or weather she was towing something. We took avoiding action and passed about 10m from her stern. Not sure if anyone was on watch as you could see lights on in the cabin so unlikely to be able to see out, plus no avoiding action. Perhaps the air-conditioning was on and did not want to be hot outside. Suspect French standards. She is now 9 nm behind us.
Looking forward to a shower now as I am sure wearing the same shirt for 10 days has some disadvantages. Oh! I do have more shirts but not white with long sleeves.
Now to the menu.  Having meatballs early in sequence as have 3 meal left in galley (do have another 3 weeks onboard) and Friday maybe a little windy and make a big mess, carrots, peas, then mandarins.