Lilli Mae, On the way home - Leg 4 - The Big One - Update 6th December 19

Lilli Mae
Fri 6 Dec 2019 21:32
Hi Everyone,
Starting with a couple of pictures today. This was the view from our window this morning and here we are celebrating reaching half distance. At the moment of writing you all this note we have done 1640 miles and our electronics say we have 1240 to do. Even though the sun is shining and the celebrations have been done, Friday is washing day on the good ship Lilli Mae.
Cumulus clouds signalling trouble ahead
Mid distance cheer!
Washing day is Friday in Lilli Mae's house
We wish we had been more diligent in geography at school! (Sorry about that Mr GrundySmile emoticon) These cumulus clouds are a great screenshot but they do create a lot of problems for little boats like Lilli Mae. Over the past few days we have had to scramble to prepare for high wind and rain deluges as a result of these clouds; squalls have been a real feature of the last 3 or 4 days so we are now pretty good at getting the sails down and "battening down the hatches" in preparation.
Although we are over half distance we cannot get the right angle on Rodney Bay to make it an easy run to the finish. The wind is coming from the east. We need 30 degrees off the wind to be able to sail properly and Rodney Bay is pretty much dead west. So we are heading further south to get a better angle. This is not helping us to reduce the distance but it will help us go faster when we decide to point the boat at Rodney Bay.
Last night was a tough night. The wind come to the east and then increased. We had wind between 25-30 knots and gusts hitting 40! And then in all of this we had trouble getting the boat balanced so the autopilot worked. So we were all up outside of our normal shift hours which we are paying for now (in fatigue) and which we tried to catch-up today (Friday)
Have not been able to fly our drone. The first week was the perfect opportunity when the wind and sea was calmer but I could not get it to work. So these will have to wait until we make landfall and we can fix it. Hopefully we can get some footage on the way up to the British Virgin Islands. Neither did we swim in the middle of the Atlantic; the sea state was horrible at the half way point! So the "swim in the middle of the Atlantic" ambition will have to wait until the next timeWinking smile emoticon. We do have lots of other photos and videos that we will share when we arrive. We have been trying to capture what is is like out here but we are not always able to capture the experience in that instant! Nevertheless we will do our best. We wish we could photograph the night sky; that is really cool to see! You are going to imagine it from what we tell you we're afraid. On some of the more difficult nights Pete and me have spent time trying to recognise stars and planets; and to compare the number of shooting stars we have seen on our respective watches.
It is now 2121 UTC (UK time) and 1822 on our little boat island "The Republic of Lilli Mae". Just finished dinner (Pasta Carbonara) and getting the boat ready for tonight. Pete is already in bed. Mike is resting and I (Howard) am on watch. We are hoping it will be a relatively quite nightFingers crossed emoticon. However despite hoping for a quiet night the wind is already starting to pick-up so I had better go.
Hope all is good with you all wherever you are.
Catch up later.
Crew on Lilli Mae