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Ceilidh of Lorne - Wrestling Match!

ARC Day 10
Ceilidh’s run over the past 24 was slightly reduced at 174NM. This was the first time we have dropped below the 8 knot daily average and was due to winds of less than 10knots at times.
In addition we motored for a total period of 5knots as we hit the mid Atlantic calm patch or hole in the wind that had been lying ahead of the fleet.
I am pleased to say that since 05:40 we have full sail set again are making around 7knots at 260M with a F3 Northerly breeze now setting in as was forecast.
Today is also a bright fresher day with no rain and reduced humidity. We did take advantage of the rain yesterday to do some hand washing which is now all pegged to the handrails around the boat.
Looking ahead we should have  a F4 NE breeze with us now for the next few days which will give us excellent progress towards our destination.
So I did mention yesterday that we had hoisted our code 0 gennaker, now let me tell you how we got this sail down!
After a little under 2 hours of fast sailing in 12 knots of breeze, the wind increased to 16knots.
The call came to furl this light weather sail which was dully done.
However the breeze kept rising to 20knots and as we have seen before, the upper section of the sail began to unfurl and draw again.
So Neil and Janet were clipped on to the foredeck with their harnesses and started pulling down the beast!
Unfortunately their combined body mass and muscle power were not enough to overcome the 60foot partly furled blue sail which resembled an anaconda writhing above the deck!
So I joined the tussle on the foredeck which initially made  a difference before the sail shot over the side again to reclaim it’s freedom dragging Neil across the deck.
However no harm done except a few more bruises and we finally had the code blue back in the bag.
We continue to take our meals in the cockpit although our dinner makes an unusual sight in the darkness with everyone wearing their head torches switched to red!
Our food water and fuel supplies incidentally are all well in surplus of where we expected to be at this stage so full marks to the quarter masters!
The 5th verse of our Christamas song:
On the 5th day of Ceilidh’s ARC my skipper gave to me, 5 hours of helming!
So on we go in this most challenging of ARC’s with the crew starting to think of rum punches already.
Dave Sturrock

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