14:36.7 N 53:15.4 W
As at 18:00 UTC, we have made great progress again in the last 24 hours, not
quite managing to improve our record with our second 200 mile day of the
voyage so far, with 191 logged, noon-to-noon today. But that still makes 405
miles total achieved in the last two days. Not too shabby.
However, watch this space in future, as there is more to come on that score
ahead, we are sure. Andreas Zimmerman, owner of Dragonfly, the German Oyster
53, has thrown down a challenge to race us to the finish line. They are
approximately 40 miles behind us now, but well south of our current position
and have just reported in a 222 mile day, so their sailing angle must be a
lot better than ours, or else they have a lot more wind. They certainly seem
to think they have a better angle to the wind than us and know we don't have
our spinnaker any more, too. They do still have their kite, even though they
cannot set it today, but, given the wind is due to veer against them in a
day or two, we think it a fair bet, with the winner getting the first rum
punches bought free by the loser. So it is 'game on!' for now. Even if they
beat us, though, we will finish with the moral victory of never having
motored, we hope.
Earlier this morning Alan hit 12.3 knots with the big genny poled out!
A new Sulana speed record has been set.
Later James spotted 13.4 on the SOG (Speed Over Ground - as opposed to speed
through the water, different because we have about 0.5 knot of favourable
Equatorial current running with us)), so, not quite the same thing, but
Yet another flying fish was found on deck this morning, making about 8
boarders repelled in total to date. James did his early morning rig and deck
check, to ensure nothing was loose, worn or amiss up there. This is no
hardship, as it is usually done in swimming trunks, but it is not always a
It is, however, pretty enjoyable sailing, with long surfs down the front of
3-4 metre swells and bright sunshine. The sea temperature here is 30.1
degrees C, so sleeping at night is a search for cool air and, by day, shade
for the boys, with the aft sun deck for the girls!
We have been hanging out the washing of bed linen and smalls today, to take
the benefit of a good drying breeze for one last wash before we arrive. The
washing machine cannot be used, as we are rocking and rolling too much for
that, but the 'Dhobi Wallahs' have been busy in the wash bucket and the
guard wires are now festooned with sheets and 'jockeys'..
Even though we have already been at sea longer than some previous Oyster 56s
in the ARC, our gas, fresh fruit and vegetables are still holding up
remarkably well. We enjoyed freshly-made coleslaw and Pimientos de Padron
(delicious, but spicy, fried mini green peppers, doused in sea salt - a
favourite Canarian and Majorcan dish) for lunch. There are also lots of
apples and pomelos remaining still in our two last netting hammocks. Our
last Camping Gaz bottle was plumbed in today, having run out of Propane gas
a week ago, following the disastrous decision by the Las Palmas gas supplier
to cease refilling of any Propane bottles, just four days before the ARC
start. But we still have in reserve the two special deal bottles of Butane
offered as a Palm leaf alternative, should we get stuck out here for another
We had a simple lunch on the cockpit table today, as we have done for 95% of
all our afternoon and evening meals on this trip so far. Everybody was
happily enjoying the quiet, post-prandial peace contentedly when the bliss
was suddenly spoilt in quite a big way. Very unfortunately, Sue hurt her
ribs and lower back in what was a very sudden fall that came out of nowhere,
just proving how careful one needs to be at all times, when moving around at
sea and just exactly how difficult it is to always get it right.
She was descending the companionway ladder, with only one hand holding onto
the handles whilst carrying an armful of sheet in the other and the yacht
lurched just as she was transferring off the bottom rung onto the saloon
floor. Losing her grip she banged into the cooker crash bar and the result
is almost certainly, at the very least, a bruised rib, but it could be a
fracture. We hope not, but she is dosed up now on Ibuprofen and sleeping OK
in the saloon.
The Ship's Captain's Medical Guide and our own previous experience of such
accidents tells us there is little else we can all do to help her, except
ensure she moves around as little as possible for a few days and then only
with help by her side. We shall see if she allows us to restrict her in that
In any event let's hope it gets better in time for her to enjoy the shore
side welcome in Rodney Bay and then for Christmas thereafter, with Grandson
Jack coming out and, no doubt, wanting a big hug and a lift up, and a dance
to his favourite Paolo Nutini tune with his Grandma. Things will be serious
if Sue and Jack cannot dance in the sun on the beach!
We now need to get to St. Lucia quickly, to reduce Sue's discomfort, by
giving her a stable platform to move around on as soon as possible, with a
moving yacht not being the best place to be in this state. Luckily we only
have about two and a half days left to run, which is better than it might
Accidents at sea are always sobering, as one is so far from the usual
shoreside help, so today's log ends with somewhat subdued best wishes to you
all from Alan.
One PS though. A friend back home seems to think Sue has been suffering
seasickness. She is very pleased to report that she has not been seasick at
all. One Stugeron on each of the first three days and the use of BandRelief
(a watch-type device which emits an electronic signal similar to a TENS
machine) and abracadabra - no seasickness. She has been able to cook, clean,
do the laundry, change the bunks and catch up on some serious reading
without any problems.