Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:33

0600 Position: 15:18.99N 019:56.5W

Distance over 24 hrs:  200.3 miles

Date and time: 20 November 2009 0700 UTC




At 0600 this morning it was officially confirmed that Mina2 over the previous 24 hours had covered 200.3 miles. The 200 mile barrier is the Everest for cruising yachts; the 4-minute mile, nay The Holy Grail. It is the unreachable star, very rarely attained by sub-50 feet monohull cruising yachts.


A couple of hours ago I received a baffling email which read


“Dear Sir Tim

My husband and I offer our sincere congratulations to you and your crew for your monumental achievement. The nation is inspired by your skill, leadership and heroism and our hearts are with you at this time, your moment of glory.


Elizabeth R


P.S. Keep up with the blog. It’s a cracker”


Who is this woman? I don’t know anyone called Elizabeth.


To reach 200 miles in a day requires an average speed of more than 8.3 knots. I would like to think that this “monumental achievement” as the mysterious Elizabeth calls it, had been achieved as a result of enormous concentration by the dedicated crew and the constant trimming of sails by them. But whilst I celebrated the great occasion with a large glass of Bowmore 15 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Colin and Neil celebrated with a sip of water and a Stugeron. For if the truth be told (as it always is, of course, in this blog) the only time I saw the crew during the entire period they were lying horizontal with their eyes shut. To cover 200 miles in a day you need a bit of a blow, and with a bit of a blow comes a lumpy sea. Yes, it has been a boisterous sleigh ride and it has taken its toll on the wretched retchers.


Colin has been feeling distinctly queasy in the lively conditions but has not succumbed. Given he is not a sailor but The Great Naturalist - Darwin to my Fitzroy, Maturin to my Lucky Jack Aubrey - he has done remarkably well.


Neil, on the other hand has not done remarkably well. He has been feeling and looking ghastly. Yesterday evening, in what might be considered challenging conditions, I put together a rather tasty chilli con carne. Neil showed his appreciation by chucking his helping overboard. But not without having eaten it first. He said that if any prizes were being handed out, he should get one for Greatest Weight Loss in the First 36 Hours of a Passage. At least that should please Sarah back at home who has recently taken to calling Neil “Belly Boy”.


Luckily, Mina2 managed her record all on her own. We tucked a couple of reefs in the sails yesterday morning, and shook them out this morning, but apart from that we have neither trimmed the sails nor altered course. Fabulous. What a boat!!


We had a further bit of excitement this morning when Neil saw an enormous shark less than a boat length from us. Its entire body was visible through the clear water and Neil reckons it was at least 10 feet long. And he should know. Neil is the sort of mentalist who has swum with sharks for fun.