Monday 5th December

Mon 5 Dec 2005 14:14
Title: Message
In position 17.34N 53.46W
Dave Twizzlefield.
Sunday morning started early as most of the crew had a good nights kip (with the exception of Tollers!) due to the boat being less keeled over. We were sat on deck just after sun up eager to see how much progress we had made over night. Tom started breakfast early and when the smell of bacon made it's way to the aft cabin Tollers soon joined us as well. He was cursing Ron over and over again for waking him up in the middle of the night just as he had managed to get to sleep. It appears that Ron had looked at the shift rota from the previous week and woken the wrong person to take over from him! It just had to be Tollers to make matters worse!
The wind had been steady all night, the big blue spinnaker had pushed us forward at a steady 7 knots and we were making good progress toward the finish line.
The sun was soon out with a clear blue sky again, we were in for a scorcher! The new bimini had been a life saver and was allowing most of us to sit in the shade of the cockpit out of the direct sun.
All morning Tollers was pushing the skipper to try out his twizzle rig sails. This sail configuration means you drop the main sail and have two fore sails both held out by poles at 90 degrees to the mast. Tollers was adamant that this would give us an extra knot of speed. So we set about the task of rigging this up, a 40 minute sail change!
Well guess what happened? instead of gaining an extra knot of boat speed we lost a knot of boat speed!! It was not long before we were switching back to our trusted big blue spinnaker. From now onwards that sail configuration will be changed from a twizzle rig to a TWIZZLEFIELD rig for this crew!!
Lunch today was a Bails version of chicken fajitas washed down with a glass of rose wine. Oh we were eating well! As Dave went to church in the aft cabin everybody set about reading books and sleeping on a sunny Sunday afternoon. This is what the Cheetham Holidays brochure had sold us all on 12 months ago!
We had a little scare early afternoon when Andy told Simon he may have to cut back on his 3 showers a day as the water maker had stopped working!! The engineering team set to work trying to work out what had gone wrong and Simon soon let out a quiet sigh of relief when Andy got it up and running again. In fact the entire crew celebrated this by all having late afternoon showers before sundown.
Sundowners today were G&T's. Andy had put together his second update of the photo show on his Mac as we all watched the shots from the last three days roll by to the backing music. It's great to have a creative director for a skipper with the tools of his trade on board.
After the slide show Simon dished up Swedish meat balls in tomato sauce with spaghetti. Sorry Duncan but I witnessed him making this without Mr Dolmeo's help and it was delicious. One of the benefits of marrying into Swedish culture me thinks!
We were all a little disappointed when the race positions came in this evening. Although we thought we had made good progress in the last 24 hours it appears we have dropped back a little on some of our closest rivals. Still it has made us more determined to fight back and put in a better performance in the next 24 hours.
We trimmed the sails for the evening and the skipper dished out his instructions to the crews on watch for the evening. Up the pace boys!
As we entered the night Dave played guitar on the stern while Tom and Andy sang. Andy stared up to the stars and wondered: "where did it all go wrong"? We we're in heaven.
"Toms trades" were here and we were lovin' it.
Nowcrew out.