Day 10: Less Than One Thousand Miles To Go!

350 views  |   December 5th, 2018 


2nd Night Watch Interlude


A good night for shooting stars around Gemini, and whilst no means a meteor shower, included a fizzing ember that lingered for 2 or 3 heartbeats as it streaked the 20 or so degrees from Canis Minor over to Sirius, the Dog Star in the larger sibling. Jim.



Mate Kirstie’s  Log


1000 miles to go and another stunning celestial display this morning!
Venus hovers above the helm, a beam of white, dappled light reflects off the dark, heaving deeps causing shadows to flitter around on deck before a not so impressive slither of moon rises humbly from behind a puff of cloud


A warm breeze wraps itself around bodies clad in shorts, bare feet wander the tepid decks and eyes search out the vast wonders twinkling above.


A red glow to starboard highlights another haven drifting with determination toward a far-flung shore, it passes close behind, red turns to Green and begins to fade away once more.  A brief encounter with others that share this wasteland of water, a living, breathing volume of a creature whose back we ride upon and who’s mood dictates so much.


Far far below us in the crushing black of the deep, mountains and canyons divide up the alien world below. Swirling contour lines on the charts show we are flying far above the rocky ridges of The North Atlantic Ridge some 2000m beneath.
soon we will be higher still, the seabed will fall away from us to depths of more than 6000metres, deep enough to sink the rocky massive of Everest below you and till have some room to add!

The night time is now giving way to the light as the sky lightens….





Wednesday 5th December – Less Than One Thousand Miles Left


A peaceful morning. The wind has died off a bit and just a gentle swell rolling the boat. The sunrise watch is fed and asleep in their bunks, morning watch is up on deck and busy gybing the boat round to take advantage of the shifting wind and optimise our trajectory toward St Lucia. Now less than 1000 miles to go – another significant milestone. The competition with Challenger 3 is very much on peoples mind though – it is looking to be a close race.


Challenger 4’s Galley


The Breakfast Club


Breakfast today was a very civilised affair. Etiquette is somewhat different from your usual land-based social gatherings. Rather than following the hosts seating plan, and by hosts we do of course mean the Mother watch who are themselves braced in the galley trying to prevent their culinary masterpieces from becoming airborne, guests will grab what they consider to be the optimal side of the table. The uphill side.  From their vantage point, they can watch as their hapless dinner partners are showered with a range of cutlery, condiments, food and drink as the boat rolls off a wave.  Of course, while the odds may favour the uphill side, the Gods may not and occasionally Neptune (or maybe the helmsperson) will cause an unexpected roll in the opposite direction…Payback time. Good manners dictate two hands for cutlery. Not on a boat. Unless you consider yourself uphill and lucky. Relinquishing one’s grasp of the water cup will inevitably lead to a sudden lurch and an embarrassing wet patch on one’s trousers.


But did I mention it is hot and sunny here? Wet patches dry quickly, And the magnificent extent of the ocean, splendour of the night skies and hilarity of our travelling companions make all the oddities of life at sea worthwhile.


Mark P



Too close to call between Ch3 and Ch4



Skipper Ricky’s Log


Date : 5 Dec 2018 Wednesday

Time : 12:00 GMT

Position : 17 13.3 N 44 35.0 W

Position : Approaching Researcher Ridge

Destination : St Lucia (Rodney Bay)

ETA : Dec 12 (GPS), Dec 12 (Ricky) Dec 11 (Kirstie)

DTF : 966, Trip1 : 1958

24 Hour Run : 203, 24 Hour Speed : 8.45

24 Hour VMG : 173 Nm Speed  7.13 Kts

COG 245, SOG 8.3

TWD 101, TWS 18

Fuel : 3 full, 1 in use

Water : 3 full, 1 in use and filling – Watermaker on – 21.34L/hr,

Gas : 2 full, 1 in use, 2 Empty


Notes and comments :


So we are into the world of gybing and then immediately thinking that you should maybe

be on the other gybe. We spent 5 hours on the Southerly gybe after gybing at last

light, but then gybed back at midnight (UT) just before the wind shift would have made

the original gybe more favourable. Ho Hum. It looks like the rest of the race is going

to be characterised by second guessing the wind direction and trying to be on the best

gybe for the wind direction – without driving yourself or the crew too crazy. Still,

cant complain too much about the wind for this ARC crossing – it has been great !


“Bare feet” mentioned in Kirstie’s blog is of course not true, we are all wearing steel capped boots as per regulations…


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Posted by: First Class Sailing


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