Pointing at St Lucia – Yippee!

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 and then won’t come down. Winds that die at dusk and show no signs of returning ever. Perhaps worst of all the realisation that we have a bottomless pit of ripe tomatoes that must be eaten in ever increasing quantities if they are not to spoil. So they are served up at every meal – raw, salsa’ed, with spaghetti, without spaghetti, hidden underneath tuna and sweetcorn salad – you get the picture! If anyone reading this has any really creative tomato recipes (tomato ice cream?), please email them to us. To cap it all, still no fish caught off the back of the boat. We are becoming the butt of many a joke with the other yachts that join in the daily chit chat on the MF radio. The first question asked by Magic Bus, Impala and Offspring invites my embarrassed reply :” No fish yet – had one on the hook but it got away – but I’m sure we will get lucky today”. Their inevitable response is “Great Mahi Mahi last night, just hooked a Bonito for lunch“. Anyway, dusk fell over an exhausted skipper and crew but at least we enjoyed our nightly glass of wine and an excellent spaghetti Bolognese (very tomato-y) courtesy of John. As usual, we laughed and joked, sometimes hysterically until it was time to do the washing up. Night watch duties slotted seamlessly into place, with Nigel carrying out his evening checks on the various instruments and on board systems, before joining the first watch for star gazing duties. Gosh – there was a yacht on the horizon. How come he’s going north west and we’re going south west? Ummm… perhaps that is why St Lucia seems no closer!

On to today and as I write, Mike is swabbing the decks, Rob is washing the saloon floor and cleaning the heads, Iona is on watch, sitting gazing blankly over sparkling waves to the distant horizon. Jeremy is kneading bread in the galley. His cooing skills need all the practice they can get! John is snoring in his bunk after completing a tough sudoko! (hope I get this sent before he wakes up or he will kill me!).

The morning was spent playing with the sail. Shall we pole out the genoa and run with the wind? Shall we put up with a bit of north in the course, in order to improve boat speed? Shall we deploy the spinnaker? No sooner uttered than the wind blew up to 25kts, as if to say “you’ll regret it”. So the spinnaker remains in the bag, clipped to the fore deck rails. Eventually we settled on a mainsail and a poled out genoa and guess what? We are heading straight for St Lucia, for the first time! It feels good, especially as we will pass the 1,000 nM point later tonight.

Of course the fact that we seem to be rather far back in the fleet is not spoken about too much – far too depressing! It is all a cunning plan, however, to position ourselves in the big winds at a perfect angle to overhaul everyone else in our class, crossing the finishing line neck and neck with the leader – a photo finish that ends with us a bowsprit ahead and the proud winners of a bottle of rum! (at this point I wake up from my dream… ), oh well! Happy days!

Nigel

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