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Chance Encounter - Day 14 ARC race 2016 - Well and truly settled!!!

Fourteen days at sea and we well and truly settled into life at sea. Watches run smoothly and we have adjusted to four hours on, four hours off. Rigs and Rob are still producing good meals but we are running out of green veges. The first round of washing has happened and the boat is surprisingly clean, tidy and mostly pong free. Rigs blocked the toilet last night so has a job to do to clear it out in the morning.

We have all been getting along well, but are running out of small talk (jobs, family, work, general interests) and moving into a secondary phase of understanding others' foibles. Rigs, as expected is always relaxed and mostly under control, but has developed and obsession with our position relative to the other boats, and his face lights up when the next position update is downloaded. Rob has developed an allergy to light winds and is becoming increasingly frustrated as the rig noisily shakes through the boat. He has also introduced podcasts, to which we were initially reticent, but have so far enjoyed talks on Rasputin, Sykes-Picot, David Bowie and the Beatles in India.

Adrian is always calm, collected and a pleasant conversationalist, exhibiting few foibles and has earned his stripes as a fisherman catching the tasty Dorado a few days back. I am in my element at sea and loving the navigation through the complexities of Atlantic weather. I am surprised at my relaxed demeanour, helped by a bunch of sympathetic guys. We regularly reflect on the possible status of a crew of nine women crammed on a 40 foot boat languishing at the back of the fleet: there could be some interesting tales to tell after their 25 days at sea!

We now have just under a thousand miles to go and after a few days of light winds we have got ourselves into a band of wind currently under spinnaker at night in 10-15 knots, doing 6.5-7.5 knots and will hopefully should arrive in St Lucia within 6 days. Yesterday we were passed by "Susan", a Bavaria 40 some 60 miles NNW, and she managed to pull out a 30 mile lead. We suspected that they were motoring as there was less wind there, and now are hauling her back in to 13 miles at the last report.

The rules allow motoring, but with a punitive time penalty which must be disclosed by each boat on arrival. Some of the crew want to avoid it to maximise the possibility of a corrected time division win; others want to keep moving and care less about the result leading to interesting discussions as the boat slows.

Doug with Rigs, Adrian & Rob.

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