Still Not Racing

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Sat 31 Oct 2009 03:40
Well we are still not racing, but we got a cracking start this time, second
over the line, the navigator, tactician, helmsman, my two trimmers and my
bowman all getting it together (well just Suzanne & I actually). Running
downwind the lead boat got away from us little, but once we came up on the
wind around the second and third marks - Ha - we were away and into the lead
and are still holding position as we head into another night at sea and the
first of 3 or 4 on the way to Dakar in Senegal. We have been split into 2
groups now using the data from our dolink trackers ( and Suzie
Too is in the second group starting some 6 hours behind the slower boats.
You should be able to track our positions on

Dakhla in what used to be Western Sahara was just great, it looks like
downtown Baghdad or Afghanistan and when we all set off in a convoy 21 4x4
trucks into the desert I felt like a BBC correspondent going in with the UN,
especially with a couple of tyre blow outs and then getting stuck in the
sand. The desert was truly fantastic, really spectacular. We stopped for
lunch and everyone huddled for what little shade there was - like animals
do - then we stayed overnight in tents - I'll let Suzanne tell you more
about that - but it's 2 more things done on my list - visit the desert and
sleep with camels.

Anyway this offshore stuff is all about weather routing and I discovered
that 2 guys have done 5 Mini Transats between them, so I asked Jean of
Havanita (with 4 children), the Open 40, if he could show me the routing on
MaxSea, but he says he does it all himself. He had a week's intensive
training at the Iles de Glenan Sailing School with the Vendee Globe meteo
guru - so I guess he'll beat me by a few days then.

Our French, Swiss and Belgian cousins have been really kind to us, they all
speak to us in French and English, and we try our best in French, and are
really inclusive with us - which I have to say is down to Suzanne - everyone
of the 100 people seem to know her and she's a real hit with all the kids.
She teaches them English and they help her with French, they all wanted her
in their tent for the night and we ended up with 3 in the 4x4 back into town
singing French songs.

At least we have a moon tonight, absolutely vertically above us, really so
high in the night sky down here in the Tropic of Cancer, but I think it will
set by 0300. We both waited for the sunset tonight to catch a glimpse of the
illusive green flash, it didn't happen tonight, so we will keep watching
each evening and then tick that one off the list.

Now 11 hours out we have overtaken the first of the back markers from group
1 - not bad and within the hour will pass another as we sail down the rhumb
line wing on wing at 8 - 9kts in 22 kts of wind

Best Regards

David & Suzanne

Moody 49 "Suzie Too"