Flyer of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Sun 7 Dec 2008 10:55
14:29.49N 43:54.63W
Saturday 06 December, Days Run 168NM
After the exhilirating sailing of the last few days, I am now typing the words I never really thought I would need during the ARC, yes we have been becalmed.It was all going so well during the morning and we had our NO. 1 Gennaker "Big Brother" hoisted giving Flyer 8knots of boatspeed in a steady F4 SE breeze.As our position is reported at midday GMT to the ARC this gave us another healthy days run which was very welcome. We could see plenty of thick cumulus cloud ahead associated with the large area of low pressure to our North which we have been dodging for most of thiks week. The latest forecast gave a "parking lot" of calm winds which stretched for more than 300NM square and it would make little sense for us to divert North or South due to the size of detour this would cause. Around 14:00 we received a fresh downpoour from the heavens which the crew prepared for by donning swimming trunks instead of waterproofs as it was so warm. The wind then swung to the West causing us to douse the Gennaker and unfurl the Genoa for our first close hauled sailing in the ARC.Although not making our rhumb line course , the breeze was steady enoughg at F3 gfiving us 6-7knots of boatspeed. Then around 20:00 the breeze died completely giving me no alternative but to start motoring. We are sailing in Cruising class D so this is permitted as long as the hours are recorded. Everyone on board has a fairly tight schedule at St Lucia  of either family to meet or flights to catch so we cannot afford a late arrival. It was very dissappointing for all of us onboard having come so far under sail power  only,but with the winds already having been inconsistent there was nothing we could do in this case.
One moment of light hearted banter ocurred at around 17:00hrs when I once again was able to make my link up with local radio station Oban FM who are following our progress. We made a live broadcast where I had to persuade sports presenter Roddy McCuish that we were not simply topping up our sun tans and life on board Flyer could be harsh and very tiring at times. However my protestations fell on deaf ears and I agreed that next Saturday when we have oiur next chat, I am likely to be on a beach in St Lucia. I did receive news of the rugby score with my home team Oban Lorne dissapointingly going down 13-5 at their league matrch. I had received better news by e-mail recently with the Oban Lorne Ladies being named as both Team of the Year and Sports Personality of the year in the annual Oban Sports Awards.
As we were approaching longitude 45 West we turned our watches and the yacht's clock back one further hour putting us 3hrs behind GMT.
We saw 2 yachts during the night watches, both of which we left to our starboard as we overtook them.
We are now continuing under engine power hoping the forecast F3 NE winds fill in as quickly as possible so that we can resume our steady progress under sail.
Dave Sturrock