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Unconditional - ARC+ Day 5: Wing-on-Wing to the Finish Line !!!

    We can now confidently state that S/Y Unconditional, a 2004 Oyster 49, should finish today, and probably late this afternoon.. We are back to a classic wing-on-wing configuration, and sailing nicely w/o the previous 8-foot waves on an angle that tossed our stern around. We should have sailed that configuration yesterday – mea culpa. The last 200nm will have been under the same downwind tack.
  We need to hope that these NE winds turn to the East for Leg #2 starting next week, as this is nice!!!
  Competition-wise, we largely closed the gap on Talaba, a Neatherlands-registered Oyster 54, and our Las Palmas neighbor, Lagoon 52 S/Y Deamcatcher is 4nm to our starboard.  I admit that I was nervous a hundred miles back when I couldn’t see any other boats. This is normal for ocean rallies, however like homing pigeons they return to the nest/loft. Thus I double-checked to be sure that I was sailing to the correct island AND the proper side – whew! Coming into port next to boats where you know the crew is FUN!
  Our Oyster 49 behaved/performed well, and Sara, Evan & I learned a few things along the way. In preparing for this trip I need to thank others who enabled this venture:
Sara – 1st Mate, chef, Admiral, and more...
Evan – Crew + flying to England for rigging parts
Eddie who led Oyster Yacht’s competent 5-person Technical Support Team fixing many things – the RED Shirts!
Michael of Fox Marina UK who replaced the D1 standing rig + topping lift
Juan Carlos of Rolnautic who arranged for Lewmar + refrig support
Carolina of Ocean Services who handled our Liferaft servicing
Susana & Clare of WCC who looked lovingly after me
Oliver, Pam & Agustin of Ocean Cruising Club for setting up a Las Palmas OCC sailor’s lunch
Sarah of Oyster who arranged an excellent Oyster owners dinner
Volvo Penta for the Onan Generator service
Bob & Claire of YachtCom who arranged for SSB Service
MasterVolt UK for functional verification of the charger & inverter replaced earlier this year in Greece
Jim from S/Y Dreamcatcher for Zucchini bread, and David for Grappa
Nigel from S/Y Venture, plus the boat at the beginning of Tango 
Tom Hughes
20nm from finish line with land in sight!

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