Life is busy on board so I always find it amazing to
read of crew saying there is not enough to do.
Alan's watch system is working out well, and I now
start the day, apart from a night watch, at 0700, starting the generator
and get the watermaker working (Chateau Pipistrelle is eminently
drinkable). Then there are forecasts to download from both the ARC office
in Cowes and Mailasail, whose weather links are excellent. We
download new Grib files and synoptic charts about every 3rd
The rig and changes to the sailplan need to be checked
daily. So far, hopefully everything is intact, but a hoist up the mast is
planned as soon as the (rolling, rolling, rolling....) motion eases a bit, and
we need to get the staysail down to remove a shredded sacrificial strip.
Together with Nick we have been checking any potentially weak points that
are now taped up. The genoa sheet to the pole now runs through a snatch
block which virtually removes chafe.
Before lunch the ARC B net takes place on SSB, which we
help to run. It is only on an ocean passage that one realises the
restricted range of VHF, and the benefits of SSB, that has ranges over 000's of
miles. Talking to other yachts in the vicinity is not only interesting,
but informative as well.
We all normally manage to find time to catch up on
sleep or read in the afternoon, then there is another rig check, course and
position check, pre-dinner drinks, and postions to download. Tucanon, a
catamaran that is in our group, send out their own unofficial placings in three
different formats, enabling us to see where we stand compared to the other
yachts we know. We have not been pushing the rig, and are more or less
content with our midway position.
Once the batteries are charged again in the
evening it is normally time for dinner and then night watches begin
The sailing is magnificent, fantastic seascapes, and
Pipistrelle powering through the waves at up to 9 knots when surfing. We
have now sailed 1700 miles since leaving Las Palmas, with only a couple of
litres of diesel being used by the main engine at the start. Currently
1137 nm to go, and if the winds continue we should arrive around the 10th
December. Our first Atlantic crossing is a great
All is well - it's getting hotter and more humid
in these parts by the day and night! We will move the clocks back 1
hour tomorrow, making us GMT -2.
Bob, Elaine, Nick, Alan and