Posted by: asolare | 04/12/2007

ARC 2007 Daily Log 9: 3 Dec 2007

Today we all saw was 4 large Pilot Whales which happened to be crossing our path – unlike Dolphins, they ignored the boat completely and gave us no time to take a photo!

The broken shackle at the top of the mast and the trough of low pressure resulted in a slow and frustrating day. The only real excitement was when Sallyanne was on watch in the middle of the night – she had 3 squalls flanking all options and another 2 squalls separated by only 1nm were observed on the radar to travel at right angles to one another! The 3 combined over an hour period gave Asolare some much needed wind – and the boat speed cranked up to 8-9kts with the starboard lower windows once again dipped below the water line…. every one else slept soundly – surprisingly!

This morning Jonathan was sent back up the mast to repair the shackle that was responsible for releasing our beautiful Parasailor to her untimely destruction. The seas were relatively calm but the nasty sea roll made it rather uncomfortable at the top. Jonathan managed to secure the new halyard and when safely back on the deck we launched an Asymmetric Spinnaker – increasing our boat speed to 5kts.

Up to now we have been sailing a course mainly chosen for speed – ie altering the course when ever there was a shift in wind. This makes very easy sailing since the sails are set for maximum speed and do not need altering. However today we made our last (hopefully) change in direction so we are now pointing directly at St Lucia. With just under half of the distance still to go this means that we will be much busier from now on with watching and trimming the sails for each change in wind direction in order to maximise our speed in a set direction. Our speed over the ground is 6kts so our Nav system predicts we should arrive in St Lucia before Christmas!

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