Fw: Las Palmas

Tue 22 Nov 2005 18:04
To:  all of Rob & Jackie's fans, all of Norman's admirers, Clare & Jays family & friends and Bhindi and Penguin followers generally.
Where should we begin with the Penguin update...............................
The highlight of the first 24 hrs of the ARC race is split - you choose which is the top story:
1.  Having started a tote as to who would loose the first 'valuable' item overboard, Clare promptly won by dropping a sock out of the boat!  It served as a useful man-overboard drill with Jackie on the helm and Clare manning the boat-hook.  Once successfully rescued and brought on board the sock was found not to be overly stressed and after a quick bit of mouth to sock is now tucked up in bed and drying out!
2. We have been invaded by an alien lifeform - it descended silently and with only a brief flurry of wings landed on Normans knee.  He got quite excited as he has been trying to find a bird for the trip.  A Spanish racing pigeon, Norman has the dictionary out hopefully trying to converse.  It was love at first sight and the two are now sitting at the front of the boat, arm in wing.  It should make a romantic sight as the sun sets below the horizon.
3.  Played I-spy earlier with Clare.   Guessed a word beginning with 'S'.  I mean, how hard can that be when you're stuck in the middle of the Atlantic (well only on the edge at the moment but we are hopeful that at some point we will be stuck in the middle)(sort of, hopefully not stuck though) surrounded by, yes you guessed it, the SEA.  After about 28 different guesses I got bored waiting for an Einstein like burst of inspiration and gave them the answer.
Any way, the story so far.
Started yesterday at 1300hrs, good start, at western end of line, kept clear air and got off well with only a few of the bigger boats in front. Then ended up on the inside of a useful bend in the wind which ultimately got us out to a complete 180 degree windshift, which also was blowing 30knots on the nose.  Nice introduction with full oilies and lots of water coming over the boat.  Also lots of water coming in to the boat through various gaps - will have to work on those over next few days.  Sailed through night after lovely sunset, had Pizzas for supper so not too bad really!  Wind dropped off through night but also took us round to a course heading parallel to West Africa which was not too helpful.  However, carried on sailing on same tack, finally tacking when a certain person, who shall remain unnamed, put the boat about when we were actually trying to take a reef out of the mainsail.  Hmmm.
Today (Monday) the wind has died and we are now floundering around in bu..er all wind with a boat speed of around 1-2knots.  ETA currently about 8 months!!
No whales or dolphins, no fish caught despite Matts expert tips to Clare - which bit did  you leave out, Matt?
Jackie says to say she's fine (but the truth is she's a funny green colour at the moment, although no big white telephone action so far! )  She also says thanks to the various people who sent pressies/letters  through. Especially Jo for the Xmas pud, although this should have been the bigger one,  to make Clare & I work harder with the transportation of said pud. Had cheese sandwiches for lunch, tea and supper in an attempt to get through the new European cheese mountain that seems to be residing in the fridge...thanks to all contributors. 
Don't forget the web site for the race www.worldcruising.com ARC boat name Penguin, race number 126.