log entry PANULIRIS ARC239

CR and KN Williams
Wed 29 Nov 2006 14:53
26th November - Day 1

Leaving Las Palmas... Much as the humbug in me wanted to get away from the
massed hordes in what is possibly the classiest locale in the canaries, I
must confess to a guilty thrill as we left the marina to a dodgy brass band
playing an approximation of Beatles classics and a cacophony of foghorns. We
crossed the start-line in an astonishingly high position, but soon reclaimed
our rightful place near the back. By nightfall, there is nobody very near...

The spectacle of 250 boats, many with spinnakers flying, was quite a sight.
As was the Sunday evening curry and a San Miguel watching the sun start to
set. A great start to our Atlantic crossing.

27th November - Day 2

After a good(ish) start I blew it overnight and ended up almost last; apart
from the few who either blew their spinnakers and headsail blocks out in the
acceleration zones or hit each other. Only 7 knots of contrary wind so on
with the engine!

Day 2 and we are alone, all alone, on the wide, wide sea. Or at least we are
by the time I get up. Either we have taken a particularly controversial
route or we are, indeed, at the back. By a long way. As we are deeply
uncompetitive, this is of course of no concern. At all. Honest.

Guy fails to mention that there were a couple of super tankers going in the
other direction so we weren't quite alone.

28th November - Day 3

Found some wind at last and heading South for the trades, not much progress
to St Lucia though. Equipment is largely working, even the SSB.
Around 14:00 we got 25 knots heading for West so we abandoned the idea of
doing another 650nm South to 20 degrees and headed where we're going.

Dawn follows night once more with a familiarity that would in some breed
contempt. For my part, I'm loving it. Not so much that I follow Penelope's
example and sail deliberately eastward at night to prolong the passage, but
I am in no great hurry to reach the Caribbean. Life on our little boat suits
me just fine...

I hadn't realised quite how much there is to do on an ocean crossing.
Learning to take sights with the sextant, finding out about the SSB,
studying the meteo, cooking supper. Quite apart from the actual sailing.
And reading lots and sitting in the sun and looking at the sea. Amazing
stars (some shooting) during my night watch

29th November - Day 4

At last were getting closer to St Lucia and can now even go SW which is
where we really want to be heading. Still almost last.

We are still all alone, a close brush with a Liberian gunship
notwithstanding. Clare also claims to have been beset on all sides by
Pirates during the night, but they were unusually coy, retiring types who
came no closer than 5 miles and then vanished. Bless.
As you can see from the attached photo, Tommy and I are thoroughly enjoying
the beards' progress. Keith and Clare aren't doing so well. Admittedly,
Clare is shaving every day, but I don't know what's wrong with Keith's...

We are on course and having a great trip. Clare has done some complicated
maths and reckons we will get to St Lucia just before Pier arrives. (Re the
shy pirates - I think that Keith's reputation has gone further than he may
have anticipated)

(PS Clare is far too busy managing to write the log.)

I'm not sure what I am busy doing but certainly no chance of getting bored !