Day 3

Majic 2's great ARC 2006 adventure
Peter Howe
Wed 29 Nov 2006 21:58
Position at noon GMT on 29 November 2006 was 20.52.99N, 19.53.06W. 170.3 nautical miles sailed in last 24 hours. 2376 nautical miles to go to St Lucia..


All through 28th we continue to progress at 8 knots on a south-west track, bareheaded with steep seas of 4 metres. The wind from north-east at 20-25 knots. Even if the sea was calm enough to hoist a spinnaker we would not be able to continue in this direction, or within 40 degrees of it, because of the asymmetric kites that we carry. We really need to continue in this direction for another day before gybing off to the right, and on track to St Lucia.


We are plagued with spurious problems in sending emails and blog updates, and try to enlist the aid of Blenheim Groups IT manager, Matt Le Huray. If they cant be resolved we may well resort to just voice communication for position reporting and weather. We put in a call to our ‘ground control’, Aden Clark, and he confirms that we are the furthest south of the fleet, and currently 8th in our class of 10. Positions are based on miles to destination, and since we are still almost paralleling the African coast, it is no surprise.




In the evening Mik cooked a delicious quasi chicken curry mixed with the remnants of the previous night’s Irish stew. A bottle of wine and cashew nuts for pre-prandials.


During the night we had a practice ‘man overboard’ drill. It wasn’t exactly a planned event, just that one of the wrist bands worn by the duty watch was accidentally triggered by one of the Petes. The off-watchers reacted smartly, ‘ anyone fallen overboard?’ they shouted. The chart plotter promptly marked the position and course to steer to retrieve them, which of course was academic since they were both still on board. But it all worked as expected, and hopefully never has to prove its worth.


Dolphins followed the boat at times during the night.


As the sun rose on 29th we were surprised to see a larger boat than ourselves crossing our stern, not more than a quarter of a mile away. We had lost touch with the fleet when they all headed west. We decided that if he wanted the dubious honour of being the furthest south, then we would oblige by gybing right and heading for the fleet. We didn’t exactly turn right since this would have been a hairy manoeuvre in these seas. Instead, we turned left through 270 degrees, which amounts to the same thing but is a lot more controlled.


We settled on a heading of 270 degrees, and found we could hoist and carry our number 1 genoa on a direct line to St Lucia, distance 2400 miles away.



The old men of the sea?; No, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. (poetic compilation attributed to Mik U)