Sat 5 Dec 2009 12:13
Hello from Trippwire!
Things here continue to go well! It is seriously hot both day and night, but we have had no dramas to speak of. Helming during the day has become hard work with the sun, and we have rigged up what has been labelled as a Bedouin tent. (in reality a bed sheet rigged from the backstay to the rail!), which helps a little, but only a little!
Almost since we left the Canaries, we have disturbed huge numbers of flying fish. These are actually pretty cool creatures, who have some impressive aerobatics. The two most entertaining being one that flew up and hit the mast near Charlie and knocked itself out. Rather more entertaining being one that hit the sprayhood right by charlies ear in the middle of the night, giving him a serious fright! Dom and Caroline have spotted both whales and dolphins on their watch, with the whale returning a couple of times and swimming under the boat.
The winds here have come out sort of as planned - if you remember, we thought that we had a cunning plan to drop south, and wait for some north easterlies to fill in. In actual fact, it is ENE that have come in and much later than planned, and so whist there is still some advantage, there was not has much as hoped for. We are continuing to use the spinnaker in the day and the Genoa at night, which creates some what of a quandary. The idea of being in the cruising class of the ARC is that we can be a bit more cruisy and not have to use the spinnaker at night if we don't want to. However, it is clear that for most of those ahead of us, they are using their spinnaker at night. This opens up a daily debate as to whether to 'go for it' or not. The main difference is that if we use a spinnaker at night it will need 2 people on deck at any one time, and all hands to be ready to pull it down in case of squalls. It would seem that 12 hours off watch seems to have won the argument for the moment, but I suspect, as our finish becomes nearer and nearer, the speed to the finish may take over.....we will see!
Attention is definitely starting to be paid to our arrival date, which is looking to be in around 4 days time - i.e. Tuesday at some point..I am hoping that this now public prediction does not cause some sort of catastrophe! Water supplies remain good, and I have yet to tackle the watermaker fix - it is horrendously hot in the cabin and it is only a nice to have! Aside from that, our lashing repair to the kicking strap (which if you remember, we broke on the second day), is still working