Scarlet Oyster - Home straight!
Seems like we are closing in on St Lucia as it is getting seriously warm! I am glad we found a more Northern route than some others as it would have been very sweaty this far South for too long!
The cloud activity has kept us on our toes with frequent sail changes from Spinnaker to poled out jib through squalls to small reaching A sail and back to our workhorse large heavy symmetric which has powered us 90% of the time since we got in the trades.
Whist the clouds have slowed us a bit, the guys tireless efforts with frequent sail changes and endless wooling of spinnakers has mitigated the damage done to our speed, whilst at all times keeping the boat and seat within sensible limits!
Our worst case scenarios for the cloud etc was worse than reality and we have been almost matching our best case routing, this has promoted us to 1st overall racing as of 1200 today, we now need average 7kn VMG to finish to stay there, sounds easy, but there have been moments under cloud where 7knots in any direction would seem a pipe dream!
Our other target was a sunset finish, alas this is looking less likely now, we have 220miles to run straight downwind through cloud in 25hrs to achieve that, so it will be photos in the dark at the finish.
The other ‘competition’ we could count ourselves in contention for is 1st Oyster on the water, this is hotly contested right now! Champagne Hippy an Oyster 825, and intrepid (725) are 20 miles ahead of us, and Manfred (on his 26th ARC!) is just 10miles behind with his 825, seems our little old 48 can punch above her weight, i suspect our sisters provide a more comfortable ride tho|!
The moon has become a bit more useful, from no moon at all for first part of crossing, we are soon to be on a full moon, tonight we should only have a little over 1hr without either sun or moon. To be honest i have got quite used to driving into the black abyss, but a bit of moonlight is a nice to have!
We are now out of precooked frozen food, we have tinned chicken tikka masala for dinner, it is actually quite palatable, tomorrow i will cook a large Mac Cheese as a late lunch, we can top up if needed in the bar with Snacks if we can go at the fastest predicted pace! Otherwise we will have a slap up breakfast in Rodney bay.
The other emergency food can be consumed by Jules Sil and Sean after i go home!
Whilst the crossing has been great i am very much looking forward to getting back to my girls, Freya will have changed a lot since i last saw her nearly 3 weeks ago, Sarah has been working very hard with her since i left, i think i am on nappy duty for the next month! I also have my Grandmothers 99th birthday party on Friday, so i should have time to shave off the crossing beard and get smartened up for that!
The guys are all doing great onboard, despite rather cramped quarters, i am surprised at how it has felt less overcrowded than i feared when i added myself to the crew list at the 11th hr!
Bye for now!