Day 16 Position 14:52.85N 57:22.80W Bob Marley and his Wailers
Tue 10 Dec 2019 17:42
Peter organises a light lunch, this time: Tomato brochetta with asparagus and egg salad.
Before cocktails we took down the green spinnaker, reefed the main and set a poled out jib for the night time rig.
Dinner was Spanish omelet with a potato, the last onion, the last tomato and with the remaining butternut squash. Dessert of fresh fruit salad with half a lime to jazz it up! A couple of spoons of ice cream followed by coffee rounded it all off quiet nicely. Yum yum.
Your blogger was running out of people to interview. So casting around and scrapping the barrel, he bumped into Mother Simon in the early morning dawn light. He protested and said he had other duties to do, such as cleaning the floor, then making coffee, and then baking cakes for afternoon tea, and so really didn't have anytime to spare. He pursed his lips and rushed off to the shops. (aka Utility room)
So the crew helpfully made up the answers to my questions for him. Here goes...
Asked how he found the trip so far - he might have said "Its tricky always sailing!" "A bit of engine makes things more straightforward!" We all knew that he has crossed the Atlantic probably over 14 times. In the bar at Guernsey yacht Club he has often regaled on his trips! But, we think this is his first entirely by sail! Certainly he has never before skippered a yacht though so many sail manoeuvres - over 19 gybes and 42 sail changes, and that's so far. All executed very safely. Unfortunately because of the weather (light winds at the start of day 2, 3, and 4), it is also likely to be his longest crossing at 17 days duration (our current navigators view) as well as the longest distance. The rhumb line is 2650 miles, however we will sail over 3100 miles because we had to dive south to seek good winds. Now of course our winds are probably too strong. Gwenhyfar is best around 16-20 knots.
He says he couldn't think of a better bunch to sail with -his long standing friend David piped up that he could!
His low point? Running out of sugar cubes! (Purser begs forgiveness)..
Simon has skippered many large luxury yachts including big Swans and Oysters. Asked how he found our little Spirit - his comment might have been "Where's our professional Cook/Hostess!"
We've all enjoyed a great trip so far with thanks to Simon's great skills and patience (come on you **** ****). The crew (all of them) are really grateful and look forward to drinking their first round of Rum in St Lucia and thanking him.
Fast progress through the night and by dawn we were leading a small posse of westward ho yachts including Sirocco VII a CNB Bordeaux 60; and Justina an Ameil 54. Early morning and we receive an encouraging email from Colin Guernsey ground crew. "Well boys, you are really flying now.. Position 08.00 UTC 14.48N 56.19 W.. Speed 8.6 knots. VMG 8.4 (highest yet). overall position 52. Racing A fleet 8th. sounds like an amazing run for home!!!! Similar conditions expected for next 24 hours. 24 - 30 knots E. Winds likely to be strongest overnight. Nothing to be done but sail for northern tip of St Lucia as fast and as safely as you can.
I am betting on a top 50 place and a rum before midnight tomorrow night!!!!"
Bob Marley and the Wailers on the sound system as we reel in the miles to St Lucia, Tim still chasing the speed numbers - come on Gwenhyfar!
Another gybe before Lunch?
Days run 209
Distance to run 212