Another Day in Paradise

Andrew Yates
Thu 11 Dec 2008 17:10
Hello from the high seas - the crew of Piccolo yet again. You know from yesterdays blog we have been having spinni halyard issues, and as you may have noticed we are prone to the odd monumental wipe out! We gues what  WE DID IT AGAIN.
We were all wondering if Skip was begining to suffer from cabin fever! No so, after yesterday's rant as he unblocked both heads he revealed he wsn't against the Plan B option offered by Jack of 'Shackling the bl***y thing to the top of the mast and being done with it'!!
With our 6 hourly kite drop and halyard checks in place we were quietly confident that we had the chaff issue under control as we had just 900 miles to go; BUT there was the small matter of the PUMPING BREEZE!!
We dropped 'Big Red' and after a good check and swap round of sheets and guys we hoisted 'Mellow Yellow'. The breeze was 14-22 knts with acouple of squally looking clouds on the horizon. The sppeds were good, spirts were high; then the rain started, not a problem. Then the wind started to build, Nick on the helm had his hands full as we were hailed by another yacht just as a gust of 32 knts hit accompanied but horizontal rain. Sorry to the hailing yacht but we did had a bit on!! We were still in good shape with the strong breeze of 20-25 knts and excelent speed. Right in 'Mellow Yellow's sweet spot.
The watch changed and this continued until about 02.30 GMT when it really started to blow and therefore interesting. A big round up cause skip to levitate from his bunk and land on the floor but no damage was done as he did not wake up. The wind continued to pipe up and was a 'stable' 30 knts plus. Time to get the kite down!!
Another round up roused Mat from his forepeak nest in amongst the resting kites and with an ease of vang, an ease of sheet we were on our feet and away. We ten spent 20 minutes at warp factor 9 cutting through the waves like Moses through the Red Sea. We had no choice but to wait till it eased off to all to allow us to get the kite down. Adrenaline pumped as we SOG'd 14.7 knts for a long time.
Eventually order was restored, breeze eased to a reasonable 25 kts; kite doused, white sail out, main single reefed and off we set on a broad reach at 9+ knts under white sail alone.
Roll on St Lucia!!

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