ARC Day 3 – Nov 24, Well Met by Moonlight

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Wed 25 Nov 2015 16:24

Day 3 – Nov 24
Well Met by Moonlight

22:25.93N 20:06.11W

It's already difficult to tell what day it is without looking at a watch - we are settling into the routine of shipboard life. Watch follows watch, day follows day, wave follows wave. Weather has strengthened, with Nina hitting 12 knots of boat speed in 40 knots of wind. Apparently it's worse on the northerly course. At least there is a lot of light from the full moon, sufficient to duck the blasts of sea spray that occasionally come aboard like shrapnel.

Dawn arrives to reveal an inky grey sea with white horses whipped into it and the surface of the waves having that curious pattern like scales from the impact of the gusts, which are still in the 35-40 knot region. Morale is good despite having only one working head (toilet) and no hot water unless we put the engine on.

Watches on deck are blustery and - yes - cold and wet. It's like being back in the Channel. At one point, Peter points out that we have crossed the Tropic of Cancer and are therefore officially in the tropics. A crew swathed in oilskins, fleeces, hats and sailing gloves looks at each other and laughs.

Today sees the first real call on the galley apart from cup-a-soups. Mark and Frank make inroads on the fridge store of sausages, bacon and eggs. Also TOMATOES, on special offer on Nina all this week.

Chris has been struggling manfully with the SSB radio net. Through whistling and crackling, we all conclude that SSB 'still has time to shine'. The Iridium satphone is great however: Lyn is on to check that we're not uploading the blog to Facebook over the satellite: we're actually doing it by the economical MailaSail route; Frank's daughter Hazel is lifting it from there and transferring it.

The 12-4 night watch turns out to be most agreeable. Brian from Rhum, the Starlight 39 beside us in the marina, comes on the VHF for a chat. We can see his light across the moonlit carpet of waves. Three days out to sea on this vast ocean, we conclude we arre Well Met by Moonlight.