The Chequered Flag

Dec 13, 2008 @ 14:14 14:04.51N 60:57.01W As Dawn broke on Saturday at the ridiculously late hour of 1000 hours, we all sat in the cockpit silently contemplating the likelihood of crossing the finishing line later in the day. It didn’t seem real as St Lucia was still not anywhere to be seen. The odd word about “ no wind so how are we going to get there?” was...

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A Special Blog for Class 5S Wessex Primary School

Dec 12, 2008 @ 14:12 14:45.9N 58:05.9W On probably our penultimate day at sea, time is passing very slowly. We have started watching the miles clock down and of course this is a pretty slow process. The sun is beating down, the beautiful blue seas roll under us and swoosh melodically and Oboe rides along proudly. If she could smile, she would have a grin from port to...

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Just Another Day in the Office

Dec 12, 2008 @ 14:11 14:53.9N 55:21.2W So what exciting things happened today to distinguish it from the rest? Well, we had pancakes for breakfast and home made pizza for lunch. Oh, and the sun shone, the Trade Winds blew and the sea was blue. And we also accomplished our biggest noon-to-noon run of the passage – 179nm – which led to John recalculating our estimated...

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In the Zone

Dec 10, 2008 @ 14:09 14:56.5N 52:20.5W The Trade Winds are blowing us directly towards St Lucia. It is as if someone simply forgot to switch them on, on realising he/she rather quietly did so and slipped away, hoping not to be chastised for the oversight! I received a verse of a John Masefield poem via email from a good friend following our progress and providing us...

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Red,White & Blue

Dec 10, 2008 @ 14:07 15:08.2N 49:15.71W Another day in paradise, as Oboe marches onwards towards the finish line in St Lucia. With the Trade winds varying slightly in strength and direction a number of sail plans were tried as the day unfolded. Nigel’s favourite, the red asymmetric (or cruising chute) was deployed after breakfast for a number of hours, while Mike...

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Domestic Bliss

Dec 09, 2008 @ 14:05 15:11.6N 46:32.7W Yet another day has passed in high spirits and with good sailing. We have sped along with the cruising chute flying most of the day and now, at 2240 hours with the moon shining brightly overhead, the chute is continuing to fly well as the winds build. We have at last found the Trade Winds which bring good speed and wonderful...

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Flying the Red Kite over the Blue Atlantic

Dec 07, 2008 @ 14:03 15:26.6N 43:58.4W Today was completely different from yesterday’s storm. We exited the storm late last night and almost immediately were under a cloudless sky with the receding storm clouds forming a wall stretching from horizon to horizon occasionally illuminated by lightning. The wind died and we spent some of the night motoring! Iona, Nigel and...

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Running Hot And Cold …

Dec 06, 2008 @ 14:00 15:46.5N 41:49.9W Today has been a day of opposites. We agreed last night to set the spinnaker for a full day’s sail and to meet in the cockpit before breakfast to do the hoist. So dutifully all of us appeared at 0800 hours, still in the dark and waited for dawn to break at 0830. Move now to 1200 Midday and … the spinnaker is still in its...

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Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Dec 05, 2008 @ 13:58 15:58.9N 38:30.6W As I sat down to write the blog entry yesterday evening after dinner in the cockpit, I first ran my usual system checks at the chart table. Earlier we had evesdropped on a ship to ship conversation concerning squalls approaching from behind, so I decided to switch on the radar, which can detect approaching storms as far as 24 miles...

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Experience Building by the Day

Dec 03, 2008 @ 13:50 16:39.7N 31:32.9W After a tentative experiment with the big blue spinnaker yesterday, our spirits have been raised. Frankly they were sinking a little due to the very light winds, which are completely untypical for this time of year. Basically, the Trade Winds disappeared soon after we departed Las Palmas, leaving us becalmed several hours a day...

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Fish and spinnakers, champagne and whisky …..

Dec 02, 2008 @ 13:48 17:00N 28:30W Our luck finally changed yesterday evening, and the first fish came aboard Oboe. Two huge Dorado last night and another first thing this morning have left the crew feeling even better fed than usual. More light winds today presented Mike with an opportunity to give the rest of us a master class in spinnaker handling, and we kept up a...

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Pointing at St Lucia – Yippee!

Nov 30, 2008 @ 13:46 17:26.10N 25:56.50W Sorry we didn’t get a blog entry out yesterday but we had one of those days when nothing seemed to go right! Where do I begin? Rob swinging violently in sloppy seas and strong winds at the top of the mast, suspended from a halyard attached to a plank of wood masquerading as a bosun’s chair. Cruising chutes that won’t go up...

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The Chocolate Melted So We Headed West

Nov 28, 2008 @ 13:45 19:42.80N 21:50.70W Winds have picked up over the last 24 hours and we are now really making good progress, when compared with that of the last few days. Furthermore, The decision has been made. Based on the latest forecast from World Cruising’s weather guru Chris Tibbs, the weather data (grib) files and more importantly, the fact we could hold our...

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