Atlantic crossing 10

Tue 5 Dec 2006 18:17
Very much the same as the last few days, forecast says it is set to continue
for a while yet.
A great tragedy with our sister ship, the other Nic 32 in the race. The
skipper has had some sort of mental breakdown and is being evacuated,
somehow. The two crew felt his condition endangered their lives so set off
the Epirb satellite distress beacon. A great shame, we visited them in the
run up and also had a few words on departure day. A very pleasant and
personable young man with lots of single handed experience. His plan was to
eventually pass through the Panama canal, then go north to his parents home
in Canada. Not sure if the others will continue or what their options are.
We are just lolling around if it can be called that, trying to be as
comfortable as conditions allow. The wind seems to be abating slightly but
we are not going to risk shaking out the reef as the nights can be very
squally. The self steering line chafed through again so I made a plastic
sleeve for it and managed to get it all back together ok, got wet in the
doing as usual. Did a few other preventative maintenance jobs on the twistle
gear. Very pleased with the lashing we did on the poles, holding up very
well. This rolling is hell !
We are now heading for the last waypoint on this side of the chart, missing
one out in the interests of comfort, straight downwind, and about 130 miles
from St Lucia, but 1400 miles from our present position. Steering 277
degrees. We just spotted another sail so a bit of excitement, we reckon it
was a yacht we saw three or four days ago just wandering about with the crew
apparently asleep. They are proceeding on a more southerly course under
reefed main only. We saw the light of another one two nights ago, the only
two sightings we have made since leaving Las Palmas. The ocean is very
powerful, great craters appear before the boat which we slide into, only to
fill again before we reach the other side. White breakers roar up from
astern but seem to dissipate and slide under us without trouble. We are
quite used to it now so we just concentrate on max speed in the right
direction. Looks like we are going to get to our destination earlier than we
thought. When we get to St Lucia I am going to lay under a tree. Moral is
high and company excellent. Manny