Thu 13 Dec 2007 13:38
LADY LIV ARC DIARY 13 DECEMBER 2007 15:40.0N 53:52.0W

It was a media frenzy.
Hot favourite for the ARC cup, Lady Liv, was floundering in tumultuous
seas, helpless, rudder smashed to smithereens, hull leaking like a seive,
radio communication lost - another oceanic tragedy - all hands destined
for a briny grave - bravely going down with their ship.

The paparazzi were everywhere. Speeding boats, flashing cameras, a
flotilla of sight-seeing tourists eagerly pursuing the stricken vessel -
all trying to see the drama unfold. And then there were the security
services looking for evidence of terrorist activity. Of course, the
emergency services were already on high alert - code red. Well this will
be something like the version which most of you may catch in the News of
the World or the Sun - headline scoops.

Back to reality. On board LL life did get a little hectic for awhile.
Heavy weather preceeding the emergence of an unusual sound eminating from
a void aft of the rear cabin, prompted a closer examination. An inspection
of the steering gear revealed a rather alarming crack in a rudder stock
mounting assembly. A speedy repair with some lengths of string, a plastic
bottle and some sticky back plastic seemed to do the trick for a couple of
days, but when this showed signs of deterioration a more substantial fix
was administered. This fix consisted of a rather large portion of epoxy
resin and fibre glass applied to the affected area, like a hot poltice.

Whilst this repair was put in place, radio calls were put out for
assistance, for any vessel nearby, that could assist with extra diesel,
should it be necessary for us to motor the rest of the way, and more
supplies of cornflakes, since our supplies were dangerously low.

For the record, the rebellious crew were overwhelmed with calls of
assistance from more than 15 ARCers. Penoliam's offer to turn round, when
she was 200 miles ahead of us was staggering. Special mention must also go
to The Great Huf and Viva who diverted theirs courses to rendezvous with
us and stayed in radio and visual contact for a couple of days and nights,
slowing their passage to stay in contact. Our apologies for slowing you
down and for our understandably erratic course.

Our greatful thanks go to those mentioned and all the others who offered
to help. To date we have managed to continue unaided, but we do still need

Whilst the rudder repairs where in progress, the scandalous crew busied
themselves with repairs to the VHF set which seemed to have developed an
intermittent fault, annoyingly occurring during transmissions of position
co-ordinates. Thoughts turned to emergency disembarkation of LL, so the
grab bag and flares were readied and and the dinghy was prepared for

Time passed. Regular inspections of the steering gear satisfied all on
board that there seemed to be no deterioration in the assembly and a more
relaxed air descended. Normality returned and thoughts once more turned to
visions of the Caribbean. 550 miles remaining and counting.

Now where was I, I spy with my little eye something beginning with S

As you can probably see, they have by now completely lost their marbles -
either that or they have been at the Rioja !! Up very early this
morning, as Coyote was due in at 7am, so Kay & M were down to the Marina
to cheer Ken & his crew in. After waking Julian on Northern Child with
our gigglings, he joined us on the pontoon. Coyote and crew safely
berthed at 7am and consumed large quantity of rum, beer and punch in very
short space of time !!