41:34.74N 020:29.30W

Excellence of Dart
Peter Coxon
Wed 13 May 2015 16:38

Just completed a record breaking 48 hr run from our start- 344 M- that is averaging over 7K

More dolphins yesterday afternoon but we are almost blasé if it means getting out of bed to see them.

Delicious Tuna steaks for supper, given to us by our new Russian friends who we had helped out on the leg into The Azores, washed down by some with a chilled small glass of Portuguese white wine- the steaks were washed down, not the Russians...

A swallow circled at 8.30 and attempted a few landings before finally at 9pm settled aboard, exhausted and emaciated and with a bald back- it looked like it had been hen pecked. He/she needed  a rest and ascertained that we were friendly enough, either that or it was rest or drown. Either way we were delighted to host him for the evening. He snuggled down inside the cockpit windscreen out of the cold NW wind. He ignored us as we battled with a gale that swept through and reefed down, eventually running for a few hours with just the genoa. Heavy rain for an early morning romp reminded me yet again of ‘Sea Fever’ – a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking. It felt like another preparation for the English summer in the channel!


We now have a perfect westerly F4-5 pushing us along in bright sunshine. Becky has a tan on her face. Mike is sunbathing in full waterproofs on the aft deck, Ade has taken to his bunk and Cara has just washed up and written up the log and has just taken a small wavelet across her back. Now she puts on her jacket- shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted ( using her terminology J ) Ahh! Mike has just taken a lovely wave full on as he reappeared in the cockpit. We get our laughs through simple pleasures...

Becky scored herself 8-9/10 today so feels much better. In fact all the crew are feeling good and have healthy appetites.


Yesterday I felt the presence of something large in the ocean and we started to keep a sharper look out... There it was not the whale we had been hoping to see but a large ship- the first on this trip. This afternoon, having been still wishing to see a whale  we were sailing a fast 7-8k when....Oh oh... a heavy thump, a jarring vibration before the boat shook herself free...we looked back to see the Hydrovane self steering rudder hanging free and being towed along by its security lanyard, and a whale shaking his dorsal fin as if to say      ‘ what the heck was that?’ Impossible to say what kind of whale or quite how big but it was solid and will now feel quite bruised and scarred. We are just slightly shaken ourselves and reminded that we are small and the ocean is large. So Peter, I told myself, I had never really seen a whale at close quarters so from now on ‘ be careful what you wish for’


Looking forward to chilli con carne tonight and a good forecast for the next 2 days at least

All is well, apart from the emergency rudder , oh and the whale, though I’m sure he will recover quicker than the rudder

Time for another cup of tea and a piece of comfort cake

Skip x