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Day 8 ARC Blog from Quokka

Day 8 ARC Blog from Quokka

Day 8 – 30th November
Daily Run – 172nm
Distance Run – 1468nm
Crew aboard – Christian (Skipper), Pete (First Mate), Louise, George, Tristan, Florence & Elyse
Guten Tag
Conditions continue to be calm out here at sea.  Life aboard is very relaxed, tunes playing from the cockpit speakers, crew’s pale skin slowly bronzing, boat gradually getting lighter as we eat and drink the supplies aboard.  All systems working and temporary repairs all holding out (and yes I am crossing my fingers and toes, touching wood and doing a wind dance)……
We are now about 1300nm from St Lucia so we have well and truly broken the back of the trip and conditions look set fair for the next few days.  We are almost at 20 degrees North now which is our desired latitude that should provide the best and most most reliable trade winds.  The trip is 2700nm as the crow flies (or as us sailors say, Rhumb line)… although we will probably end up having sailed about 2850nm in our search for the best winds.
Whilst we decided as a crew as we are a little light on experience and numbers that we would not be racing across, there may be just a little tiny competitive streak in me which is looking at the tracker 3 times a day and secretly plotting to outwit the competition.  Whilst I suspect most of the other yachts have been flying spinnakers almost from the start and we’ve only so far had one night (last night) with the spinnaker up, we are still well in the hunt.  We are extremely unlikely to catch our friends in Scarlet Oyster who are a racing crew of 10, compared to our inexperienced race crew of 7.  However, our target is to arrive 2nd in class so that there is still plenty of room at the bar.  Currently there is a 72 foot yacht level pegging us to the South and another Grand Soleil but a bigger 46 which is ahead and to the North.  We will keep a close eye on them over the next few days and Skipper will be patrolling the deck at night to make sure we are making best course to St Lucia.
Time for dinner and happy hour me thinks.  Be good people….
Captain Christian
Begin forwarded message:
Subject: Daily Log
Date: 30 November 2015 19:18:22 GMT


ARC 2015  S/Y Quokka 8
Day 7 – 29th November
Daily Run – 187nm
Distance Run – 1396nm
Crew aboard – Christian (Skipper), Pete (First Mate), Louise, George, Tristan, Florence & Elyse
Hola amigo’s
Another peaceful day on the good sailing yacht Quokka.  The conditions are really quite calm now.  With winds predominantly 10-14 knots from 090 degrees, the sea is calm and the sky blue with the occasional thick puffy white cumulous cloud.  Today was a day to ‘make hay while the sun shone’ so we took advantage of the calm conditions to have a thorough clean above and below deck.  Salt water scrub on the decks and a sweep and anti-bac lemon wipe down below.  A fresh smelling yacht and also washed my bedding so clean sheets for me  Smile……
The calm and relaxing conditions were only interrupted once today with the fast ratchet of the fishing reel as something took the lure and disappeared into the deep blue water – 4km deep at present!  After about 7-8 minutes of reeling in, there it was a bright green and blue Mahi-Mahi broke the surface30 feet behind the boat.  The crew had mixed feelings, from excitement, hunter gatherer reflex and poor little fishy.  None the less,  fairly quickly I dispatched with it’s head, cleaned and popped Matthew the Mahi into foil and ziploc and into the fridge.  We did a little dance to Poseidon and thanked him for our bountiful catch and licked our lips thinking about the Mahi fish and chips for tea tomorrow….
The forecast continues to suggest that heading South will provide us with more wind, so we are continuing on port gybe with the S4 (Mid weight symmetric spinnaker) flying day and night now.  We have the spinnaker wrap net up which would avoid the spinnaker wrapping should things go wrong so we are feeling fairly comfortable.  Another 5 knots of wind would be nice, but between this and too much we choose this.  Boat speed is still 7-8 knots and we are sailing 230-250 degrees most of the time, so a touch South of the Rhumb line, but deliberately so.
As the Caribbean is 4hrs behind GMT today we did our first hour time change, so at 1200 we reset the ship clock to 1100.  Another 3 of these over the next few days and we’ll be on the ‘Rum-O-Clock’ timezone by the time we reach St Lucia.
Crew profile 3:  Today’s crew member profile is Elyse who was born in Quebec, Canada, so she’s got a slightly confused French-Canadian accent but more than makes up for it by being a brilliant cook Winking smile  Elyse lives in Hamble in England with her boyfriend James who is currently skippering Northern Child on the ARC.  Elyse started sailing just this September when together with James they took a crew from Portsmouth to St Tropez on Northern Child, so you could say that her sailing experience has been off the deep end.  As a skipper I can tell you that Elyse has taken to life at sea like a duck to water and is a great upbeat part of the crew, always wanting to help and as I said a great cook, so we’re very happy to have her aboard.  Elyse and James plan to start a yacht catering business next year after finishing this season on the water and based on the food we’ve tasted, are bound to be successful.
Well, it’s almost that time, sun down, navigation lights and lifejackets on, nightwatch, stars, moon and more miles towards St Lucia.
Sleep tight people…
Captain Christian
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