This morning was a lovely sunny morning but by lunchtime our first tropical squall shower was seen, and owing to its size we got very excited and cracked open the washbags, dug out the shampoo, donned
bikinis and headed to the cockpit for a mammoth hair washing-in-the rain session! It's official, judging by the rainwater runnoff in the cockpit drains, us girls were filthy!!
Wow - do we all feel better now! Who needs fancy marina shower facilities when you can use the power-shower of mother nature!!
We are all now gathered down below, like a wet family camping holiday whilst Harriet takes her turn on the helm in the next rain shower. The girls are lounging on the sofas reading our treat from last night -
Glamour magazine - and doing the "Are you good at Sex?" quizzes and munching chocolate biscuits whilst combing knots out of Bea's hair! The pictures of Christmas party dresses and knitted jumpers make us realise that the cold weather of england is so far far away from our 37 foot world in the tropical mid-atlantic.
Fear not - we haven't deserted our helmswoman in the rain showers. Although we put in the hatchway boards to stop the rain coming down below, the watch buddy is on hand to ferry up teas and biscuits! Its
actually quite magical steering the boat in the tropical rain showers, Harriet has her ipod in judging by the sound that is coming from ondeck, but I'm unable to ascertain the exact track!
Down below we are getting more and more festive decorations, there is the lint chocolate box lid which is quite special pinned up, there is a Christmas tree drawn by Harriet on the heads door, next to our countdown to St Lucia sign!
Tonight Bea is cooking us bangers and mash and we are all quite hooked on our ARC battle ship game we are playing in the evenings in two teams, so far Bea, Marie and Vicky have sunk 4 of Bev, Kirsty and Harriets ARC fleet!
What with all this preening, pampering and prancing about, you could be forgiven for thinking we've forgotten about the racing part! So on to the techy part to let you know we still have our eyes on St Lucia, at
least for some of the time!! Our daily run for the last 24 hrs is 148 miles, so picking back up the average speed again which is good as the squalls give us some variable winds before they arrive and after they
pass which can be frustrating. The girls are now expert reefers and can make the sails smaller in minutes if needed before a blow.
Our major milestone for today was passing the 2 weeks since the start and also less than 1000 miles to go to St Lucia! Go diamonds go!
Overnight we headed a bit further south on a course of 255 magnetic [for you yachties out there to note, there is 18 degrees of variation here in the mid atlantic so that equates to 237 degrees true on the map. Back in the south coast of England for example, there is only about 2 degrees difference between what a ships compass might read and the true north on the chart so its often neglected but out here, if neglected, you would end up entirely the wrong Caribbean island!] We are now on a latitude of about 15 1/2 degrees north and have turned back due west towards St Lucia. The winds have moderated to a good Force 4 from behind, blowing us along and if it wasn't for the squalls it may well have been a spinnaker afternoon - oh well, it will have to be tomorrow now, but the good news is that when we get the cameras out for the spinnaker hoist, we will be looking our best!
Till tomorrow and with love from all the clean and sweet smelling GFS ARC 2011 crew,
Skipper Vicky xx
PS: Just passing the ARC sailing yacht Ocean Wanderer this evening and chatted on the VHF radio - their crew sends their love to friends and family as they are out of satellite comms!