Moving Up The Fleet

Alan & Mary Phypers
Sat 11 Dec 2010 22:20

14:02.31N 49:03.8W


Saturday 11th December 2010


Since our last update 3 days ago we have  had almost constant squalls including strong winds, rain and very big confused seas.  This has been hard work as we’ve had to double up on watches and when we are off watch it has been very difficult to sleep.   The radar has been great for tracking the squalls, especially at night and has been renamed the ‘raindar’.


We have however been making fantastic progress and the last two days have managed 163 miles each day.  These conditions are when Stella comes into her own and she handles them beautifully and with twin headsails we are able to sail dead downwind unlike boats with main & jib.  As a result we have moved several places up the fleet and apparently had the best VMG (effective miles to our destination) in our class yesterday!!


This morning it brightened up and we have had great sailing all day and the sea is settling a bit.  It is great watching the waves as we surf up and down them.  They are bigger than the boat so in the big ones the whole boat is pointing downhill at quite an angle which is scary but exhilarating.


It is still a bit rough to open any hatches so it is getting a bit smelly down below although only Mary seems to notice.  Cooking is also a challenge as we roll so much and a few things have gone flying across the saloon.  Stocks are lasting well and we still have fresh apples, oranges, onions, cabbage and tomatoes etc.  We have just chucked the leeks mainly because we decided no one really likes them anyway!


We listen to the daily radio net on SSB where other boats have been giving a profile of their crews.  A few have announced they are single and looking, so a bit of blind dating has been going on.  We cannot transmit but not wanting to miss out  we have emailed one of the other boats and have now officially put Roger up as an eligible unattached male and some of the girls have said they are keen to meet him in St Lucia!!!!!!


We now have only 691nm to go and if the winds continue we are on schedule to arrive on 16th which means we should make the parties.  On the SSB they seem to think the main party is on the 16th but we have emailed ARC twice to check and they still won’t comment.   This hasn’t stopped Mary recalculating our arrival time at several different speeds several times a day as she dreams of the finish.