Friday 2nd December

Fri 2 Dec 2005 10:36
Title: Message
In position  19.17N 46.07W
Maintenance day
As daylight broke we looked out on a grey rainy ocean. We had a momentary 40 knot squall which Dave and Ron handled without hassle (it's amazing how a couple of weeks in an ocean can knock a crew into shape)
Then the wind died and we had to fire up the engine again.
By 9.30 after a Tom special beans on toast (skin heads on a raft) with cheese (insisted on by Charlie something to do with pining for the saddle) the rain had stopped and we were blessed with a beautiful blue-sky-morning with little motion from the ocean it was quite pleasant - even though we were motoring.
We took the opportunity to refuel decanting our last 88 litres of diesel into the main tanks. We now have three quarters of a tank for motoring , which should give us about 25 more hours under the iron sail (if needed). And three quarters of a tank for generating power to charge the batteries etc. which will have to last until the end of the race - otherwise we have a problem.
At 10am we noticed a baton coming out of the mainsail, on close inspection we had another tear in the mainsail. Luckily the wind was down to a few knots, so down the sail came. Ron, Nicko and Charlie set about repairing it again. This time we removed the middle baton and the two free baton cars. The were cleverly replaced with webbing straps, which hopefully replace the smashed set and take the strain of the final run into St. Lucia.
Just as we finished the wind came up, it was time to test the repair. Everything went up perfectly the job -looked good, only time will tell if it is good enough.
After a lunch of tinned ham, cheese and rice salad the sun came out and the crew lazed about each doing their own thing. Tom and Dave played guitars, Simon watched M.A.S.H on DVD, Ron slept, Ian listen to a book on his ipod, Charlie read the latest Harry Potter book and Andy played on the P.C trying to figure out the beat route....
Meanwhile Nicko concentrated on trimming Now3 and squeezing every last drop out of speed out of the boat see below.
Early afternoon Ron declared that we'd now passed into another time zone and therefore ship's time should go back one hour, that makes us now 3 hours behind UTC (your time).
The rest of the crew reckoned he'd called it to push back our next celebration (passing through 1000 miles into 3 figure numbers) so that it felt earlier and physiologically better.
And so it was that at 6.30pm local we made it down to triple figures a big cheer went out and the tinnies were cracked open and another celebration was had.
The sundowners drifted into dinner. Bails had created: Lamb roast in garlic and Rosemary with a Porcini and shallot sauce over a bed of cous cous - not bad for a bunch of hairy blokes in the middle of the ocean!
Washed down with two bottles of very special Rioja from Simon's cellar (underneath the starboard bunk).
Night fell, another episode of 24 was played for the TV addicts.
Dave tried to trade watches with Charlie, claiming that evening was his awake time and if Charlie didn't mind Dave would like a long lie in the morning. You can guess Charlie's response.
Maxsea, our routing program tells us that we half 24 hours of light variable winds (which probably means motoring) the the trades - yehaaa!!!
Finally on the midday positions we pulled 10 miles back on La Royere, dropped 15 on Charliz and 20 on North winds. We're still in 11th position overall and 4th in class and still hoping to gain the edge in the trade winds.
Yet again we started the engine before bed due to lack of wind.
 Bye for now, Nowcrew out.