Day 11: They’re Having A Whale Of A Time!

397 views  |   December 6th, 2018 


Mate Kirstie’s Log


Once More Unto The Breach

Yesterday we had a 20ft-ish whale play alongside us for an hour, broaching several times – once right in front of the boat, as it continuously circled us and surfed waves.  The whole crew watched and many videos (mainly of blue sea!) were captured.


Gybe After Gybe

An early morning of rolling around in bunks as the helms wiggle over waves!  A pattern is emerging.  Each change of watch for Ricky and I involves a gybe. Some of the crew jump to action and have picked up on key roles whereas others very definitely still need a close eye and lots of guidance and checking.  Whilst trickier and obviously slower during night gybes the daylight gybes are becoming faster and smoother. Will run another training session at midday/happy hour.


Kate and John


Independence Day

Today is Finland Independence Day and we are celebrating with our friend Mikko on Challenger 4. We have flags and bunting and Anglo-Finnish pin badges and special treats to eat today along with some face painting.

Cooking is an extreme sport this morning. Imagine a gym session where the equipment is trying to throw you off and you are simultaneously handling sharp knives naked flames and boiling water.  Bacon and eggs were served with aplomb by John and Kate.


The Heat Is On

Up on deck, some race training is going on. We are less than 800 miles from St Lucia now and Challenger 3 is closing on us from their southerly vantage point. We are gybing down the rhumb line as the wind shifts back and forth in the squalls. Baywatch have been soaked twice but Crimewatch have stayed dry so far. Kirstie and Bruce are trying to whip the crew into shape for the last dash.

Our progress yesterday was delayed by sighting an amazing whale, who followed us for around four hours. He surged forward on the waves behind the boat and repeated a figure of eight circuit up the port side, then across and back and up the starboard side. He was twenty foot long with white markings around the fins and a greenish grey body.

We think it might have been a pigmy orca or similar.


A Pygmy Whale


Champagne Supernova

We then had a spectacular sunset to the strains of George Michael’s “Don’t let the sun go down on me” (which was part of Bev’s playlist), before the night watch settled down to appreciate the meteor shower. These wonderful sights will stay with us long after we are home and clean and cooking horizontally.


Meteor Showers


Three new Limericks


There once was a bride named Wendy

To the sea did she get sendy

She was learning to cope

With a bit of old rope

And those knots that are all so bendy


To the ARC trip she did subscribe

After joining the Bailey tribe

The nights were a lark

With manoeuvers at dark

As she practised her poled-out gybe


Poled-out gybe, says Marsh, sounds grand!

This honeymoon’s better than planned

I’ve got one of those

Right under your nose

And in time it’ll even be tanned




A Blog In Finnish

Suomen Itsenaisyyspaiva 6.12. Taalla jossain keskella Atlanttia. Purjehdittu 2143 Nm ja jaljella jotain 800 Nm. Siis noin 1500 km lahimpaan Pubiin. Tanaan vietamme Suomen itsenaisyyspaivaa. Vene on koristeltu suomenlipuin ja miehisto on tuonut oma aloitteisesti jotain Suomeen liittyvaa. Sinappia, kurkkusalaattia ja mm pienet Suomi-Englanti pinssit. Kohteliasta vakea nama britit. Illalliselle salmiakkikossunapsut ja salmiakkia jalkiruuvaksi. Napue Gin olisi ollut tyylikkaampi vaihtoehto, mutta vahan samahan se olisi ollut jos joku ulkomaan elava kehuisi mailman parhaalla saunalla.


Purjehdus on muuten mennyt hyvin. Tuulet suosineet ja vauhtia pitanyt. Aluksi tosin jouduimme hakemaan parempaa asemaa turhan paljon etelampaa kuin oli ajateltu. Nyt kuitenkin kai kuudentena ja loppua kohden tilanne nayttaa hyvalta.


Eilen pieni valas seurasi meita useamman tunnin. Luuli kai emokseen ja oli turvallinen uida viressa. Myos muutama delfiini ja merenneito nahty.


Maanantaina maalissa.




Google’s Best Effort At Translating That

Finnish Independence Day 6.12. Somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic. Sailed at 2143 Nm and leave something 800 Nm. That’s about 1500 km to the nicest Pub. Today we spend Finland’s self-interest. The boat has been decorated with a Finnish flag and the crew has personally brought something related to Finland. Sinap, cucumber salad and mm small Finnish-English pinps. The treacherous blind us Britons. Dessert strawberries and strawberries for dumplings. Napu Gin would have been a more stylish alternative, but wax to the same would have been if some foreign lover would praise the best sack in the mail.

Otherwise, sailing has gone well. The winds favoured and accelerated. At first, though, we had to look for a better position far less far than we thought. Now, however, for the sixth and the end, the situation is good.

Yesterday, a small whale followed us for several hours. Luuli was in the mood and was safe to swim. I got a few dolphins and a mermaid took off. Monday in the paint.


Ch4 (Orange) and Ch3 have gybed and are inching ever closer to each other


Skipper Ricky’s Log


Date : 6 Dec 2018 Thursday

Time : 12:00 GMT

Position : 16 25.7N 47 45.4 W

Position : Approaching Royal Trough 6740m

Destination : St Lucia (Rodney Bay)

ETA : Dec 10 (GPS), Dec 12 (Ricky) Dec 11 (Kirstie)

DTF : 778, Trip1 : 2160

24 Hour Run : 200, 24 Hour Speed : 8.3

24 Hour VMG : 196 Nm Speed  8.2 Kts

COG 242, SOG 9.1

TWD 109, 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 :


RC – The pattern of gazing at the true Wind direction and gybing when it is

consistently above or below the mid point is continuing. All works well in theory but

the wind is a fickle thing with a shift often happening just after or even mid gybe to

make you question your decision to start the process. On the plus side, the crew are

now getting the hang of it all.

779 Miles to go!



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