Land ho - nope, just dolphins

Rich Carey
Wed 22 Nov 2017 17:10
The night was a bump and grind. Catamaran's ride nice, and 'mainly' flat, but the price is the crashing of waves into the gap between the two halfs. Slap bang wallop, right under your bed, with the occasional shudder of vibrating fiberglass. So it was all night, but at least we were sailing, not motoring, albeit at a miserly 4-5 knots.
Mine was the 02-04:00 watch - the 'graveyard shift' probably not an appropriate expression, although many have been laid to rest in this watery expanse. Bit of a drama McDrama face, getting in the Screecher, when it came unfurled and then refuse to refurl evenly, so ended up taking it down and stowing it back in the cockpit. The issue is a woefully undersized furler - that's the next purchase.
Noticed the topping lift was detached. It was tied via a smaller rope to the boom, and that smaller rope was gonny gone gone - must have worn through and made a break for it over the side. Easy fix. Did I mentions that before? I might be on a Groundhog day.
Today we fixed the screecher and got it up again. Easy, as the wind dropped to three fifths of bugger all, and has remained that way since. Iron horses to the rescue, so batteries topped up and the water now full. Unfortunately the watermaker takes 80 Amps and needs to run for an hour a day, and the engines run for an hour can't keep up with that and the other needs - even supplemented by the windgen (not much use when there's no wind), and watergen (not much use at 4 knots), and the solar panels (not much use at night). Might have to introduce some shower and power rationing.

Had a few laughs on the SSB HF net today. There's a noon roll call of all boats with SSB radios, of which about 20-30% of the fleet have. When asked "x86, anything interesting to report?" I responded "ok, so I'll cut straight to the chase, Bosun still hasn't pooped yet!". I'm gonna get this dog as well known as anyone else in the fleet :-).

We're quite satisfied with our position. We chose to go down the coast to avoid a forecast low to the West, bringing weather then a big hole early to mid week. It remains to be seen if this is panning out, as its about now that those more north west of us, should start to encounter head winds and then the no winds. Our schema takes us further down yet, then a long steady turn to the west - line the nose up with St Lucia, put out the wing on wing, and sleep for two weeks. Yea, like that's gonna happen!

First dolphins appeared today. Other people have been calling sightings (SSB Net), so we expected this. Alas they joined us when we were doing about 3 knots, so not so exciting. When you're doing 6+ knots, they leap and play around and in your bow wave - today they circled like lazy sharks. Nice to see them however.

Bob send me bad news - ARC website quote: "While the ARC is a cruising rally, there is a start and finish line, and the boats are split into divisions according to size, type and competition. The first start today was for the Multihull Division, led over the line by American flagged Lagoon 42-4 Libélula, followed by Seawind 1160 X86 and the fleet's largest trimaran, Rapido, living up to her name coming over the line third before storming off down the Gran Canarian coast.". Bummer - still, we got a mention, although I now have to carry 'first looser' to me grave!

Karen is coming to St Lucia for the 12th Dec. Wahooo - Can't wait for that :-)

All's well on x86.

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