Lilli Mae, On the way home - Leg 4 - The Big One - Update 8th December 19

Lilli Mae
Sun 8 Dec 2019 18:43
Hi Everyone, hope wherever you are things are good.
Well we are still here and very much into our Atlantic passage. So what are the current stats?
No of days at sea - 13
No of miles covered  - 1922
No of miles to go - 973
No of fish caught - 0
No of fish nearly caught - 1
No of crew at start - 3
Current number of crew - 3
No of crew disputes - lost count!
No of squalls navigated - lost count!
No of whale sightings - 0
No of "Oh Sh!t moments" - 59
Overall you see a lot of very impressive passage stats!
We can't believe that we have been at sea for nearly 2 weeks; as you can imagine you lose a sense of time and particularly what day of the week it is. The light and dark (and hunger!) help with maintaining a sense of the time of day.
We have mentioned a couple of times other boats that we on the journey across the Atlantic with us. Vague references have been made to "lists" on which we get daily updates. These list rank all the boats according to DTD (distance to destination). Our claim is that we started the "race" as one of the last boats across the start line and we definitely do not intend to finish last! This morning Team Lilli Mae brief was intense with Mike, Peter and me all trying to get our strategy for the most effective sprint to the line. So the sail area has been maximised and the "foot is down on the gas pedal".
Last night we had a tough night. We were all up outside our normal shift patterns and we were already a little fatigued from the previous one. The squalls were our problem and we had strong winds to deal with again. We had reefed the sail size (reefed) as a result of some early wind indicators. Mike handled most of the difficult squalls in his shift from 2100-0100. At this point we were "running" with the wind; but with the wind on our back we were going north of west and we needed to go south. So at 0100 ( the start of Peter's shift) we decided to gybe to head south.
As a result of last nights work we crossed the "1000 miles to go" mark this morning and we have a direct line into St Lucia. We do have some uncertainty about wind for the next couple of days but we are now in a good position to overhaul a couple more boats before the finish line. Right now we are heading is 257 degrees and speed between 7-8 knots. Took a few pics of Mike at work preparing the boat for the day.
Our photographs have been a bit boring; not much to see out here so you'll have to put up with these "action shots" and ridiculous selfies! 
Mike at work this morning
Mike still at work this morning
A novel attempt of mid-Atlantic selfie
We anticipate about another 5 days before we get to Rodney Bay; probably arriving next Friday or so. Will have time for a couple more dispatches before "The Big One" ends.
Got to go now. Vegetable stir-fry for dinner tonight which of course will be topped with a g 'n t (with lemon and ice) to celebrate the 1000 mile milestone. Will talk to you all soon
The Crew aboard Lilli Mae.