Sat 6 Dec 2008 12:17
Sorry for the missing day but onboard Gulliver we have been having quite an exciting time - we are all safe and well and cruising towards St Lucia at nearly 7 kts on a beautiful sunny day with about 1200 miles left to run so we are well over half way - so what has been happening...

We had run all night under spinnaker and main going flat out at maximum hull speed most of the time in winds of 25 to 30 knots - apart from a couple of' 'modified' stanchions bent by the sheet and guy all was going well and we were catching up with Falbala etc. At about 0800 yesterday morning the steering went light and it was obvious that something had broken, Gulliver 'rounded up' into the wind causing the spinnaker to flog rather excitedly, Ed rigged our back up tiller and Mark nearly got the spinnaker down but unfortunately one corner decided to do the job for him - all hands rallied round and we soon had all parts of the heavy spinnaker bagged and stowed, the main down and Gulliver happily pottering along West under reefed Genoa

Investigation reveals that the cause of our problem is the steering gearbox at the foot of the wheel pedestal - this means that the autopilot steers fine so we used that all day - until that is we gybed in the evenig and it refused to follow the new course - various emails and calls to boatyards and B&G will hopefully provide some solutions by Monday...

Currently we are doing 7kts under full sail but steering using the aft cabibn tiller (just like old times for JB crew excpt there are cushions and a stereo)

Watch this space for further developments and news of any victories we may have on repairs... Just celebrated such abeautiful mornig with scrambled eggs and bacon and tonatoes so life is looking good

All the best from Mark, Ed,Lis,Andy, Anna and Zoe.