Day 4

Majic 2's great ARC 2006 adventure
Peter Howe
Thu 30 Nov 2006 17:44

Position at noon GMT on 30 November 2006 was 19.47.46N, 22.46.49W. 175.9 nautical miles sailed in last 24 hours. 2212 nautical miles to go to St Lucia..


In the morning of the 29th we decided that the sea had calmed enough to consider hoisting a spinnaker. We started with the 1.5 oz small spinnaker. The boat seemed to be under control so we replaced it with the larger .75 oz, and Majic started to do what she does best. Picked up her skirt and dashed off to the west at 7 knots in a 15 knot north-easterly breeze.


The boat is starting to come to order as we enter these warmer latitudes. With a fully functioning water maker, the crew took showers and changed into shorts and t-shirts. Mik and Ron busied themselves in preparing 2 new spinnaker sheets from a huge drum of cordage. They rigged them 'in situ', tensioned them, and removed the old chaffed ones without losing an iota of speed.


Most systems on the boat continue to function well, but we still have concerns over our new 'intelligent'  75 amp/hour alternator. We are taking 160 amps out of the batteries each day with all of our sophisticated systems, but the alternator refuses to steadily charge at more than 25 amps per hour. Which means running the engine for 6 hours, with the consequent increase in diesel fuel consumption. In principle we should be able to program it to increase it's charge rate but the user guide was clearly written in the Pacific Rim region, and the control box is only accesible to the likes of Houdini.


After a sandwich lunch Mik rigged his fishing line and prayed to Neptune to deliver, and for the well-known downer effect of the skipper's presence at fishing expeditions to take an off-day. His prayers were answered 1 hour later when he caught a 2 kg Golden Dorado and exclaimed 'change the dinner menu'. In order to keep the cockpit area clean he decided to dispatch it by alchohol poisoning. Peter Howe checked his well-stocked booze cabinet and decided that Ricard was the least popular drink with his current crew, and proceeded to pour 1 gill of same into another type of gill. After gutting and filleting in the galley sink, we were delighted to note that there was sufficient for 5 good portions. Peter N said that it would have fed 20 in The Bedford.





            First; and last



It was served at sunset with sauteed onions, carrots and more of the huge stock of potatoes the boat carries. Washed down with one of the fine bottles of Rioja from the skippers Reserve stock, we prepared for nightfall.


And what a fantastic night sail we had. Clear starlit skies and a three quarter (gibbous) moon. A moderate swell with 20 knot north-easterlies. We carried the kite all night, rarely dropping below 8 knots and reaching speeds of 13 knots surfing down the back of waves. Pete Howe declared it the best night sail he had ever had, and celebrated when coming off watch at 4.00 am with a tot of Johnny Walker Black Label.


The 15 knot north-easterly continues to blow this morning, and after listening in to the fleets daily radio net it is clear that the weather to our north has lighter winds.