ARC Rally, Day 14

For the first time in our Atlantic Crossing, we have spent the entire day sailing directly toward St. Lucia.  With 15-17 knots on our beam, we spent yesterday afternoon reaching with the shy kite at speeds between 8 and 10 knots.  A 3-4 meter swell from the north made the ride a bit rolly, but we were enjoying the fast ride and watching the range number click below 1000 miles to go and the time to go occasionally pop below 100 hours when the speed got up.

By sunset the roll would occasionally pitch us over till the clew of the spinnaker and the boom would touch the water.  We decided to play it a bit conservative for the evening and changed down to the jib and staysail.  The weather forecast and some lightning flashes to the south had us a bit concerned that we might experience a squall.
At happy hour just before sundown, we celebrated the distance to run dropping down to three digits.  After, Merima served up an excellent fish chowder made from the fresh caught mahi-mahi and some other goodies from the galley, along with some fresh baked French rolls.  It went well with a bottle of dry El Coto Rioja white wine.
We carried on the celebration after dinner by singing along to some Jimmy Buffett music.
Even after changing down to white sails, which slowed Moonshadow by .5 to 1 knot, we managed to overtake another ARC boat during the evening.  We’re not sure who she was, but it must have been one of the larger cruising or race boats in the fleet.
As it turned out, it was another beautiful and uneventful night at sea.  With no moon and mostly clear skies, it was bright star light all night.
Winds went fairly soft in the early hours of the morning, and at first light we hoisted the shy kite and got the boat moving a bit better.  The breeze clocked and eased a bit so around 1000 we changed up to the big kite, brought the pole aft and got her moving into 8’s and 9’s.
An hour later, the winds were up to 20 knots, gusting to 23, so it was time to change back down.  I have to say, the guys have the routine down so we can now get from white sails to kite, kite to white sails, or change kites within a couple minutes.  And we are NO race boat.
Our day’s run of 196 nautical miles reduced our distance to run to St. Lucia by the same amount.  Our noon position was 13° 58′ north by 46° 40′ west.
The crew are about to declare a beverage mayday.  We’ve been out of beer for two days and are almost out of coke (only to be used to mix with rum).  The level of intensity in making the boat go faster is increasing as happy hour drink options are reduced and the boys are sussing out local rum distilleries in the islands.
Cheers, the MooCrew

 

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