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Gust of Wind - Towards the finish line

I would love to be able to tell you that the past couple days have been so busy that we have not had a chance to be able to sit down and give you an update, it would seem that procrastination is very much alive and kicking.

So, coming back to you, ever so slightly (48 hours) delayed, let’s get you up to speed with the on goings on board GUST OF WIND.

To be fair it’s been a challenging and ever so slightly tormenting couple of days. We have had spells of fantastic sailing, with the wind and sea playing ball and herding us to our destination. As I type this we have the wind right up our…. Stern… cruising in a very favourable heading towards Saint Lucia.

The atmosphere aboard is calm and collected, with an undercurrent of heightened anticipation and excitement. With each person pretending not to have any faith in superstition, the latest antics of shaving half a beard off, for “Fresh wind on the cheek” and how many times can we change a sail in 30 minutes are telling a different story but we will go into more detail about these topics in a bit.

As it stands yesterday, we made some good distance in not much wind at all… please cross fingers and pray that we get some good fortune when it comes to some good wind/sea/weather tomorrow!! We had a bit of a meteorological welcoming to the Caribbean yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. We were greeted by a “tropical” squall. The wind picked up as we sailed straight into a waterfall like downpour. After bagging the spinnaker and changing sails and and and….. a couple of the crew found this downpour the perfect time to neglect all responsibilities and make lunch, whilst others – task focussed and hardworking realised the opportunity to capitalise on time saving and shower out on deck during the face stinging, heavens opening downpour! It was properly warm and humid, which made the rain an incredibly invigorating and welcomed change – was great getting a proper long shower, outside, in mother nature - just by the way.

The evening shifts have taken quite the change of late. No more are our firework displays or jaw dropping sky’s set alit by the Milky Way. The Stars have been banished by what would appear as an ever-growing glow, equally as breath-taking. The Moon seems to be feeling left out. Its currently a colossal ball of glowing hope and it overpowers the sky’s. The need for head torches and any other form of assisted light is now null and void. If anything we have been maximising our tans during the nights… its far too warm for tops/t-shirts/shirts – we pretty much live in board shorts at this point. The continuous onslaught of Kamikaze flying fish claimed its first victim last night, Sam Hardy took a stellar blow to the shoulder whilst at the helm. No one onboard has ever seen so many of these, now nuisance like fish. There literally has been no signs of life other that these suicidal creatures. Personally I am not of the belief that there is much intelligence within these strangely intriguing yet equally annoying little fella’s.

We have had some interesting developments onboard, the Watt&Sea hydro power generator magically made itself a “useless piece of crap” by relieving itself of its propeller blades.

JNR Du Toit gave the Retired Olive Farmer SNR Du Toit a 101 lesson (arsekicking) in how to cook a stew.

A couple nights ago we had a fantastic braai, cooked by Lord Hardy – lambchops and chicken wings YUM!!

Today for the first time in 2 weeks we crossed paths with another vessel in the race, as they disappeared behind us and off into the distance (they are a race boat – getting a hiding by GOW).

With the end growing ever so close, for a lot of us onboard this sees our 1st of many crossings winding up. We expect to start seeing boats tomorrow, as the 240 vessels in the race start funnelling towards and into the Caribbean and Saint Lucia. This truly has been a magical experience and one that I’m sure we will be talking about for a long time to come.

Bets have been placed and are in a sealed envelope, as each crew member had to enter a day and time of arrival in Saint Lucia crossing the finish line, results will be made public knowledge as soon as we cross that ever so nearing line!

On a separate note… Keep your eyes peeled for the Gust Of Wind, The ARC 2017 movie and series, coming soon. Rumour has it producer Justin Anley is working on the final touches before the release of the first couple of episodes.

Anyway, we currently have 300 miles to go and I am on watch in a couple hours, so its time to catch 45 winks, Keep watching this space.

From all on GUST OF WIND, we would like to take a moment to thank you all for your ongoing support and to our families and loved ones that are so supportive and understanding – Thank you!

From all onboard, Good night and sweet dreams!

GUST OF WIND, standing by!                                                                                   Sam Stuttard.


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