The last stretch

Imagine of Plymouth
Mon 10 Dec 2007 19:26
Last night was very uneventfull. Steady breeze and we made good progress towards St Lucia. Chris is getting into racing altough still taking regular naps and determined to finish his books. Robert has suddenly become very chatty now we are closing into land, for him this crossing was a tick the box and never again.
Strangly nobody was up early to set spinnakers or cruising chutes so Rudy had a nice breakfast before waking up his brother Arthur to help with the cruising chute. This was up for 45 min when the wind changed and the spinnaker went up. This was around 0800 this morning and went down around 1415 so we had a good run. We had to drop the spinnaker several times for some very strong squalls so we are getting plenty of excersice. One squall was so strong that Rudy was nearly lifted of the foredeck again by the snuffer for the spinnaker........This time he wore gloves so no rope burns!
This afternoon the breeze increased such that we had to go white sails only but withing half our spinnaker up again. Another squall and the wind shfited so that came down and cruising chute up..............You can see that we are being kept very busy to keep the boat speed up. We have several boats around us and determined to beat them although we will not be flying any cruising chutes during the night. In between the squalls Mark made a huge lunch which has given us plenty of energy to keep on going.
So the log reads 170 natical miles at 1915 local time so if all goes well we will be in St Lucia tomorrow. Everybody is looking forward for a beer. We have huge stocks onboard but because of the weather none was drunk. We drank water, lots of water. Also calculated that we used 4200 liters of water for showers, washing up, washing machine, cooking etc. Good we had a watermaker!
So we are nearing the end of a wonderfull and varied trip for some of us. Conditions have been very testing and none of the trade wind conditions described inb the brochure or given in weather briefings at the start of the Rally. Anyway so far we have coped very well with everything. We have sailed safe and fast whilst trying to keep everyrbody happy. For some it was a race, others a challenge, others a rest but we have all had great fun and are still friends!
As we are going to give it a major push tomorrow to get in before dark there might not be a blog but you can be assured that we will have a party!!
Crew if imagine of plymouth.