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Mary Doll
Owner Derek Smith
Design Oyster 56
Length Overall 17 m 47 cm
Flag United Kingdom
Sail Number

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Mary Doll - Day 18 - Time flies when you’re having fun

Today was to be a good day.It was foretold, but someone didn’t tell today.Last nights gastronomic delight was tuna and sweetcorn mayonnaise with crackers and breadsticks.Mmmmm.At least we have an electric kettle and can make a welcome cup of tea.The last night watch of yesterday saw me awoken from my sleep to assist with the navigation systems which had lost signal.Using the trusted IT department trick of turn it off and back on again the system was back up and running in no time.Midnight to 3am watch went without a hitch so maybe today will be a good day after all.4.30 am I’m awoken from my sleep again but this time with more urgency.The autopilot has gone off and the navigation system is giving incorrect course details.It took a few minutes to get our steering back on track using the. read more...


Mary Doll - Day 17 - What could possibly go wrong

We are not looking our best* but we continue on under main and stay sail.We get remarkably good speeds. Morale is a bit low today with lots of replays of last nights events taking place in the minds of the crew. But we resolve not to let the event with the squall get us down but to learn what we can and accept what we cannot change. We are all safe and we know things could have been worse.Surely now our bad luck is behind us.Toasted bagels are ordered to give the crew something to smile about.Life is good. The gas we changed a few days ago went out unexpectedly and on inspection we find the canister empty.No more gas is on board. Half toasted bagels and another opportunity for the crew to find the positives, this is character building. Luckily we can use the microwave. Problems starting. read more...


Mary Doll - Day 16 - A Little Hiccup

Everyone onboard is safe and well. Repeat, everyone onboard is safe and well!The same cannot be said however for Mary Doll. this morning she is looking a bit like Cinderella running from the Ball. (Or in her case - squall).At 0115, we were hit by a squall and despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to get the headsail in before it ripped. It was a hectic time getting the sails under control and stabilising the boat but the crew teamwork was fantastic. Adrenaline is an amazing drug!!An arguably even bigger problem we had was that the pole (used to keep the headsail rigidly out) had been ripped from the mast and was swinging dangerously. Given that it is 15ft x 0.5ft metal pole, it was a very real risk of causing further damage (breaking windows, rigging etc) as it swayed.The stormy. read more...


Mary Doll - Day 15 - Homely tastes and nae pals

Late day 14 we finally came out of the storm that had us sailing cautiously for the last few days. We took the chance to spread our wings (sails), which was great but meant that we pulled away from the ARC companions (sailing yachts Bluemoona and Tilda) that had been accompanying us over the previous days.Even when they were usually too far off to get a visual on them, it has been reassuring to see them on our AIS (positioning) system and have an occasional chat on VHS radio. In a storm, in the middle of the ocean, it is good to know that there are others out there and that we have each other’s backs. The chats often end with a promise to meet up for some pints in St Lucia - I hope we do, it will be good to put faces to distant voices on a crackly radio line. For now, we steadily pulled. read more...


Mary Doll - Day 14 - Bread of Heaven

One of my current favourite songs is written by an artist named Sam Fender - the title of the song is ‘Saturday’ and the lyrics as follows: ‘If Saturday don’t come soon, I’m going to lose my mind’. It is now Saturday, but unfortunately for the crew of Mary Doll, I have already lost my mind.I find I’m spending an inordinate amount of time fantasising about things I previously thought totally mundane - sleeping in a bed that isn’t intent on throwing you out (luxury!), cleaning myself with something other than a baby wipe (what an indulgence!), having a stand up wee (sacre blué….!). These things, or the lack of them, have become our daily norm, the novelty hasn’t quite worn off and you’ll be glad to hear I haven’t actually lost my mind (yet) but suffice to say I doubt you’ll see me making. read more...

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