Day 15 – Charlie’s guest blog
Civilization as we know it and the skipper is chilled; so this blog, my first, is from Charlie – the new boy on the block. Until I arrived in Las Palmas I had not met any of the crew – it was a leap of faith and one that I have no regrets. Day 15, week 2 and my god what an experience it has all been. We have just eaten the most fabulous Sunday Lunch thanks to skipper Simon, with more than a little help from our talented Julian. Roast lamb (laced with knobs of garlic), roast potatoes, cauliflower, leeks in a white sauce and gravy; and this was all consumed with hardly a movement from Casamara. She was bowling along at 7.5 knots on the most delicious broad reach, stable, powerful and purposeful. For we are up against it. The weather is changing. For 14 days we have enjoyed the trade winds which, to quote the book, in November are “almost guaranteed to blow at 15 – 20 knots”‘ … until now. We are 450 nm from St Lucia but the winds are forecast to turn light and fluky and possibly disappear altogether. There was lots of debate on board this morning as to whether we should continue on our current strategy – a northerly hook into Rodney Bay, or whether a southern approach would be more fruitful. Our goal is still to complete the crossing without using our engine. I suspect that this may be reviewed if we have to sit motionless for 24 hours!
I have been the radio op for the trip reporting in to the net controller and taking down the progress of our friends in the radio group on a daily basis; you guys at home are far better informed being able to study progress on the ARC website. I am very much looking forward to meeting some of the voices in the flesh in St Lucia as there are some interesting sounding characters. There have been a couple of Happy Birthday serenades transmitted; although we haven’t had any birthdays on board, Simon’s son Alex and my son Olli are both turning 20 tomorrow and December 7 respectively. Amazingly, both are in their first year at Newcastle University, so Happy Birthday boys – have you met each other yet?
So what of Casamara – she is quite the most outstanding yacht, safe, seaworthy and very comfortable. What do I particularly like? The ability to make fresh water and to to have a shower every day. It is very humid even out at sea and as I type I am glowing gently; so having a shower makes such a difference. And we have a big fridge, and freezer so everything is cool! Time has flown; it’s been a great crew with lots of laughs. Thank you Simon and thanks Casamara for a wonderful experience. Love to all our families at home and see you soon – have all the Christmas cards been written? Charlie.
What a wonderful guest blog from our guest blogger! There is very little to add on the food front, as following on from our mega Sunday lunch, we have all just been helping ourselves to light snacks this evening and watching a few movies between watches. The general feeling of anticipation now that we are closing on St Lucia is growing by the minute. We have started to think about awards for each other (all very comical) and will no doubt be in a position to enlighten you more, once we have agreed the final categories! Fish have continued to elude us these past few days, but we have still not yet launched our secret weapon! I think I will finally unleash that tomorrow and can confidently predict a fish supper tomorrow night!! JK
Thank you to Charlie for a great first guest blog and indeed Simon and Julian for sending in such regular and informative updates on life aboard an ARC Race Yacht. Lets hope for some pick up in the trade winds for an engine-less arrival.
Julian’s website can be found at GN Espace
Image: Courtesy of Landhere’s Photostream