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Islay - Times goes by...

We are 8 days at sea now and living the passage maker's life.

A typical day starts with your shift, in my case at 0400: cup of coffee with previous watchman Marcel: check our position, the weather, sea state, and new e-mails. During the shift time passes by quickly as you may read a book or just look at the billion stars. At 0800 Peter is awake and joins me in the cockpit. I go to bed for a few hours.

At 1200 the Yellowbrick tracker transmits our position to the ARC organisation. We put our position in the log and make a nice cross on the large map on the wall. So far the daily distance was good with 175/196 NM. Peter makes lunch; bacon and eggs or even wentelteefjes. Around 1300 we download mail and the fleet positions. Marcel made a new app to convert all reported positions to an app which shows the boat names and positions on a map. Like a Yellowbrick fleettracker off line. Very handy!

Although we sail safely and try to keep everything in one piece, we do want to improve our position which is 5th in our group D. At 1400 I join the ARC SSB Radio net where I try to decipher what they say.

We tye return mails, perhaps adjust sails, run the generator, take meat out of the fridge, and have our happy hour at 1600. Depending on the weather and sea state, we take a beer or a glass of wine. As we want to eat during daylight, one of us starts cooking around 1730. In general we eat very well with lots of vegetables and great meat from El Corte Ingles. The coffee around 1900 finishes our dinner.

Around 2000 I go to bed for my desired sleep end the day ends for me.
It is amazing how fast the days pass by, day after day. It is difficult to put things into time perspective like: did we catch that fish 2 or 3 days ago? We are agnostic of news and what happens in the rest of the world with the exception of e-mails from our families.

And more things happen; we caught 3 Mahi Mahi´s and had 2 for dinner. We did lose 5 other fish and even a hook. The weather so far has been brutal at some times. 30/35 kn of wind (top was 42 kn) with choppy seas and serious swell that made it difficult to move around in the boat. Sleeping during the first night was no success. The boat (Oyster 53) takes it all well and smooth and after a few days we got used to it. The cooking part however, is still a challenge at times.

Most important to us is the lack of the normal and speedy life. We don¹t feel lazy, we just live life at a slower pace. We think and discuss things in a different way than we usually do. Family, our lives in Holland, the perfect boat, where to sail, work, and how to create more time for sailing ;-).

We are half way today. Although a long journey, we do enjoy it (sitting in shorts outside at night). We look forward to the other half and already imagine our first evening in St. Lucia.

Peter de Graaf
Marcel Hogenstein
Berend van Geffen

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