ARC DIARY DAY 9 - FIRST 1000 MILES !! 4/12/07

Wed 5 Dec 2007 01:32

This day finds us at 20:57N and 33:09W along our route to St Lucia. Over
the last 24 hours we have struggled with light winds and managed to sail
only 107 nm. Our sail plan has varied and for part of the time we have
been reaching on the port side with SE trades which are unusual for this
time of the year. At the moment we are goose winged with north easterly
winds with flat seas and are waiting for the promised force 4/5 to take us
to the promised pints of bitter. We are some 1622 nm from our goal. We
need the winds as we do want to arrive well before Christmas.

Life aboard LL continues with its normal routine of keeping watches,
preparing meals, checking and discussing weather forecasts, reading,
discussing which sailing tactics to use and more mundane things like doing
the laundry. Keep in mind that everyting aboard a sailing yacht takes
longer to do ....even conversations are slower. HOWEVER, life aboard a
yacht like elsewhere has its important moments. Today we celebrated an
especially important milestone.........we have sailed 1000nm since leaving
Las Palmas on Nov. 25. To observe this special occasion and the fact that
we have crossed a while back the Tropic of Cancer and are truly in the
Tropics, the Captain went deep into the ship's hold and emerged with two
bottles of champagne. With much ceremony he opened the first bottle and
promptly fired the cork at the youngest member of our crew, David,
.......striking him in the groin while he was defenceless at the helm. The
injury was minor but his steering was erratic for a while. The lad is
getting married in St. Lucia and December 22 and so we were all relieved
that all was well.

Some personal notes from/about the crew:

Captain Bob (Hef) led a lengthy but effective discussion how best to
adjust to the shifting winds and the forecasts we are receiving daily from
the GRIB files.

Michael Smith is well into his adventure novel by Wilbur Smith but also
has time for contributing to the high level of dining we have become
accustomed to.

Brian remains busy working towards his qualification of Yacht Ocean Master
Certificate.....and last night produced a beef stew which would be hard to
match anywhere on shore.

Mike (Goldilocks) Rose and Emil (Email) Baran have been working hard
during the night watches preparing for their opening at the Palladium as
the Singing (sort of) Matalots.

Dave (the Engineer) is the youngest and probably the most hard working
member of the crew.......but still has time to pick the brains of his
older crew mates about the various fine points of sailing.

Ian (the medic) is a bottomless pit of humerous stories and the delight of his crew mates.

Marion (also known as M and Bob's partner) the ever present (but not
physically) member of our crew continues to provide valuable shore support
as we approach the mid point of our passage.

Until the next message......the happy crew of LL sign off.......