Friday, December 17, 2010

Atlantic Crossing - Day 5

At 1200 on 16/12/2010 our position was 19.11N / 21.57W. Our noon to noon run was 168 miles.

Finally the wind gods are smiling on us. At 0500 a small front approached from the west bringing with it increased winds and a few spots of rain. The dark clouds rolled across the sky just ahead of us and looked far more menacing than they actually were. Since then we have had steady winds of 10 to 15 kts from the north west. The main and jib followed by main and screecher combo has allowed us to reach along at speeds of 8, 9 and 10 kts. And that's the way we love to sail.
It is always a welcome relief to both our ears and wallet to turn off the engine.

I must mention at this point that if there is more than one boat on the water in your vicinity and going in your direction is always classified as a race. We have a good group of friends who we have sailed in company with for quite some time and are always on for a bit of light hearted racing.
We now have only 175 miles to run to the port of Mindelo on Sao Vincente in the Cape Verde islands. If this breeze holds we should arrive late Friday afternoon.
The forward scouts on "No Rehearsals" the Catana 52 cat arrived early this morning (they jumped the start line by 2days and will be penalized accordingly). Being first across the line they have been instructed to sus out Mindelo for the rest of the herd which are following close behind..

The "race" is now on to see who will be next across the very unofficial finish line. The Tayana 53 "Tehani Li" with the multi- national crew of Phil, Karel and Benoit are giving it a good nudge however the weight of their recently caught Mahi Mahi may be having an undesirable effect on their boat speed. Following close behind is the Hans Christian racing ketch 'Stardust" helmed by the unstoppable Bobster, with radio mum Becky and "likely to be in the doghouse Mike" if he doesn't get to Barbados soon! In third place is the impeccable Maxi 38 English flagged "White Rose", with the two bloodhounds Peter and Steve and of course the unflappable Bridget on board. Steve was looking more than worried for a while when diverting to the Cape Verde's had a whole different meaning, other than refueling. We believe that Steve's nervous twitch is now under control. Next in line is the beamy Beneteau 50, Bondi Tram, with Sandra and Peter aboard. They had a great lead early on but seem to have slowed down a little over the past 24hrs. Must be all that food in the freezer.

It is of worthy note that all of our " competitors" have had a good 24 hr head start on GWTW.

Apart from the above mentioned boats there are at least another 25 out here that we are in contact with each day who are also heading to the Verde's.

Stay tuned for the race results of leg one of the NARC. (Not The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers)

Let's hope the wind stays in all night.

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