08 Dec - Day 22 Position at 16.00 hrs 17:25.1N 059:33.7W

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Sat 8 Dec 2007 21:28
Day 22 Distance to Antigua 129 nm (nautical miles).

Distance covered since yesterday at 16.00 -  156 nm. Average speed over 24 hrs =  6.5 kts

Fingers crossed for a good run for the next 12 hours.

At 2am last night I ran some exact calculations to see if it would be possible to arrive at Jolly Harbour in daylight.  At 2am, we still had 223 miles to go and I wanted to be at our waypoint off Falmouth Harbour in 32 hours.  It would be a close run thing but possible if we maintained 6 kts through the night hours and then a further 14 hours at an average of 7 kts.  By 6 am this morning we were a mile ahead of budget.  The next 10 hours would determine if we could make it. Since 2am last night, we have covered 96 miles, that's an average of 6.8 kts.  Another 19 hours at 6.8 kts will see us at the waypoint at 11am tomorrow.  We then have to get round to the west side of the island and enter the channel to Jolly Harbour.  The customs and immigration office closes at 16.00 hrs and if we miss it, we will not be allowed ashore until it reopens on Monday morning. Will we make it? We shall see.  The wind is forecast to drop tonight and if that happens, then probably not but we will give it our best shot.  Even if we don't make the customs office, we should be able to drop anchor in the bay outside and at least we'll get our first good nights sleep.  Stay tuned to this station folks.

Last night, we had the usual collection of squalls.   As there is now no moon, it is almost impossible to see them creeping up behind us.  We were visited by 3 flying fish but sadly we only managed to save 2 of them.  In total so far we have had 11 land and managed to save only 5.  1 saved him self by landing on the bimini and trampolining off it and back into the water.  Impressive! We had lightning in the clouds for the whole night to add to the fun.  Lightning and boats are not good companions and, as Sam mentioned before, the thought of sitting on water with a 40 foot metal pole sticking up into the sky is not a very comforting one.  Our friends Partick and Sinead on Foxglove were hit by lightning off the south coast of Spain last year and it wiped out practically all of their electronics. 

We have heard from the Blue Water Rally Office in the UK that the weather in Antigua is not that good and not forecast to improve til Thursday.  Are we unlucky or what?

Sam made some bread today and we had rolls for lunch with tinned ham and the remains of the cucumber.  We also still have 2 tomatoes but they are looking a bit sad and will probably be best cooked.  Still plenty of fish left.  Probably give it a miss tonight as we had some last night with Canton Black Bean sauce.  Very nice but think we've had enough of fish for a while!. Only 10 steaks out of the original 20 left.  They are still nicely frozen so no worries on them going off.

By the way here's an update on yesterday's contact with Mirabella III from a google search by Sam's Mum - 'Mirabella III, wow what a boat. A Bruce Farr design. 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 7 crew – chef, captain, 1st mate, engineer, 2 stewardesses & deckhand. Got to ring for price – don’t think I’ll bother!!!!!!!!!! It’s136 foot long.' 

Robin from Kuralu emailed us to say that he knew someone who used to crew on Mirabella and the reason they were motoring was because the diesel needed to cross the Atlantic costs around $20,000 but  is far cheaper than replacing the mainsail if damaged!!!  Food for thought!!

Sam's turn - It seems that now we are close to land we've suddenly hit rush hour, relatively speaking that is.  After our encounter yesterday with Mirabella III we later saw the lights of a yacht pass behind us and in the early hours of this morning I could see the masthead light of another yacht on our port side running parallel with us but it was gone by daylight.  It's probably still there but the waves are so big now you just can't see very far. We've also had a massive container ship plus another large vessel pass by us within only a couple of miles.  We are thankful again for the AIS radar as the alarm went off when they were in range.  Took us a long time before we actually eyeballed them because again, the waves are so big you just can't see them until they are almost on top of you and we don't want that this close to our destination!  Needless to say we will be keeping a sharp eye out over the last few miles of our voyage - Back to Jon.

So, nearly there at last.  It's been an interesting trip.  The weather has been challenging to say the least. The night watches have been quite hard work.  If we had had any seriously bad weather for longer than a couple of nights, we would have been exhausted..  Glad to get there?  Definitely.  Glad we did it?  Definitely. Do it again? Hmmm...... maybe!

(Nah - done it now.  Next stop the Pacific. After a well earned rest mind you and at least a year cruising the Caribbean islands?!?!? - Sam & Phil)

Today's picture is of a passing squall a morning or two ago.  I hope the website sized pic does justice to the rainbow.  It was actually a complete arc. Stunning.