Today the crew has been in a reflective mood.
As often happens when one is a mere 900 nautical miles from one's destination,
thoughts turn to 'what next'. Not so much in a sailing context, because it's
pretty clear that St Lucia, then Grenada etc is the order of the year. It's more
a question of what happens when we get back to London.
One option being discussed this morning is the
purchase of Mike Lucas' boat repair and brokerage business in Devon. This could
be exactly the change in lifestyle and direction that is required - no more
donkey work in London offices. Graham's been weighing in with some advice on
running a small business (first concentrate on making customers happy - profits
will follow). And Will has forthright views on valueing a business in a
downturn. Could be something to think about...
We crashed through the 1000-mile to go mark late
last night, as Summer Song surfed and careered down the big following seas. We
had two reefs in the main and a well reefed gib during the night and buzzed
along at about 7 knots in 16 knots of wind. The crew have become accustomed to
the new movement of the boat (surfing rather than wallowing) and slept well,
although there were some complaints of queasiness from Graham - banished with
We reeled off nearly 160 miles yesterday, thanks in
large part to the waves shoving us along unevenly from behind. We won't do as
much today, but we'll beat our 5 knot average comfortably. Will has unhooked the
wind vane steering in favour of more 'accurate' hand steering to try to keep
boat speed high.
Sadly, everyone else is benefiting from the same
conditions, and we seem to be falling through the rankings after a climb to
vertiginous number 102 in the fleet. Obviously, our maverick spinnaker-at-night
tactics earlier in the race put us in a good position. All the same, the good
news is a likely arrival before the deadline for entries on the 17th December -
after almost four weeks at sea!
There has also been much talk of babies and the
joys of parenthood from Will and Graham. Little Tabitha is sorely missed by her
father, who lets not a day pass without some fond reminiscence of a smile, a
gurgle or a tantrum (few and far between, apparently). We're all looking forward
to seeing her witness our arrival, and the pressure is on to do so in
baby-friendly hours. Apparently Jesse has requested a 'lap of the island' from
us if we arrive during the dark. We'll see, but I suspect the temptation of a
rum punch will overcome the undoubted attractions of another 100 miles at