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Gauntlet of Tamar - Gauntlet, Day 10

Day 10 on Gauntlet...

The '1000 miles to go' waypoint is in sight! As the countdown of days to go replaces the count-up of days at the sea, the crew are starting to speculate on the arrival date which the ARC has in store for us. The pining for a well earned beer (or 10) in St. Lucia is growing by the watch however there is still 8 to 9 days to go (we think..).

Despite thoughts drifting to the finish there are potentially the most challenging conditions to come. Squalls.

A Squall is a gust of wind which lasts for more than minute (and often a far lot longer) and involves a wind speed of at least 16 knots higher than the mean (basically it gets real windy real quick). The reality for us is that we will need to reduce sail very quickly if we see one coming, which is easier said than done at night! None yet, but we are on the lookout and nervously looking at each dark cloud which comes into vision hoping it doesn't have a sting in it's tail (or fluff?).

No fish today. With Hugo having chalked up 3 Mahi Mahi already, Skips is starting to get complacent and demanding a Tuna so that's been Hugo's focus, keeping him occupied choosing and changing lures from the impressive spectrum he has in his locker. He keeps testing the rum spray too to ensure it hasn't 'gone bad', he says. Strong alcohol calms the fish before the fatal cut is made. Some of us are questioning whether it is more to keep the bladesman calm!

A less exciting activity was Hugo and Tom sorting though the rubbish and packaging up recyclables and non-recyclables. There is a shared desire among the crew of Gauntlet to use as little plastic as possible and ensure any recycling is separated, washed and stored, ready for when we arrive in Rodney Bay. The fact that this increases time at the bar on arrival by reducing jobs on arrival is merely a by product of our eco-eagerness - we promise!

This won't be popular to read for those in Blighty but the sun mid-Atlantic at 16 degrees north is incredibly intense. With no bimini, the helmsman has to be smeared up good with sun cream if he is to last the 4 hour day watches. The most social watch in the early afternoon is slowly becoming quite lonely for the person steering as the rest of crew take respite from the sun, downstairs in the saloon.

As part of our routines, we have decided that the person responsible for the daily clean gets to open the days advent calendar window and enjoy a chocky! They also have to decide on a Christmas song to sing with the crew joining in for the first verse before murmuring an 'la la-ing' the rest as we don't the words.

Gauntlet out.

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