26:30:89N 17:18:94

ARC 2014 Blog for Yacht 'Jo'
Ted Watts/ Mark Watts
Tue 25 Nov 2014 14:03

Tuesday 25th November

First dolphin sighting off the port beam yesterday PM; a pod of about 20 – black with white underbelly?

Despite shifting wind patterns, we seemed to keep the boat going through the night by switching on the engine whenever the wind speed dropped below ten knots. This helped us find the wind by taking us out of holes in the wind, whilst also charging the batteries. So far we’ve only motored for just under 2 hours and managed to cover 170 miles on our first day – not bad!

The monster squid lure sold to me in Las Palmas as a dead cert for tuna has so far produced ‘nil points’, though it would have to be torpedo like at the speed we are currently travelling (8-9 knots).

Last night was both beautiful and frustrating in turns. In between the clouds we saw twinkling, jewel-like stars the like of which you don’t see any longer in the UK. It is just about possible to do a 6 hour watch in the cockpit with shorts ; the weather is now pretty idyllic although we have been becalmed at times, which makes it pretty frustrating.

From the AIS we can determine that we are in the company of at least 3 other yachts that are all behind us, however last night we were surrounded by the masthead lights of many yachts in the fleet; always a comfort to know you are not alone, despite the fact that the fleet is becoming more disparate.

The boat has been pitching and yawing a great deal and on 3 occasions either dinner or drinks went flying. Alastair was particularly gracious after a bowl of fabulous tuna Niceois he’d prepared went flying across the cabin sole, insisting he ate it. That was a real treat at sundown; food always tastes better after a hard days sailing.

Currently, Summer Star is approximately 3 miles off our starboard quarter; thankfully she gives us time on handicap and appears to be slightly slower. The wind is a reasonably consistent 20 knots with the odd gust of 25 knots. We are surfing down the occasional wave under full main and genoa making 7-9 knots and as I write, the wind is slightly fading, forcing us to windward seeking greater apparent wind. Our COG is 260 degrees magnetic approx.

Thanks from all the crew for the fruit cake Roxanne; when’s the next one arriving?!! Apologies to Teresa that the Sat Phone wasn’t on when you called:-(. Maybe before 14:30?


Jo’s boys (minus skipper)