ARC Rally, Day 9

Every time we think about being nine days out from Las Palmas and yet to reach the half way point, we think about the poor buggers a few hundred miles north who are pounding into big seas and trying to make way into 20-30 knot winds.

Way down here, well to the south of the great circle route (rhumb line corrected for earth curvature) we continue to ghost along in single digit breezes, with a huge ground swell to remind us of the system heading across the Atlantic in the other direction to the north.
Winds from the southwest kept us on a course to Brazil nearly all afternoon yesterday.  The only luck we’re having fishing is the odd flying fish that sacrifices itself on our decks.  We hooked a small mahi-mahi yesterday afternoon, but the hook was just in the lip so when Graham tried to pull her aboard, she fell off.  Perhaps she’ll come back when she’s fully grown.
The only good breeze we’ve had in the last 24 hours was in squalls.  There has been plenty of rain to wash the decks, lines and rigging, so we’re nice and clean.  After the squalls the wind drops to almost nothing, so we’ve had the motor on and off a few times to keep moving.  We’ve come through what we hope is the toughest part of the passage and still half our diesel.
We’re well into the trade wind belt and waiting for them to fill in a bit more.  In any event, just about every mile we sail now is taking us a mile closer to St. Lucia.  We expect to reach the half way point tomorrow afternoon, so there will be (yet another) cause for celebration.
Graham is obviously missing work.  He has become so bored he is looking around the boat for things to fix.  So far he’s sorted out the aft cockpit boat speed repeater and the forward cockpit instrument illumination.  I’m sure there’s plenty to keep him busy until the sailing does.
Kurt continues to entertain/gross us out with sick jokes.
Charles is eagerly awaiting more breeze so he can get some quality helm time.  In the mean time he’s catching up on his rest.
Merima warmed us all up with a batch of red beans & rice with chorizo sausage last night.  There should be plenty of wind today as a result.
Our position at noon today was 16° 32′ north by 31° 23′ west and our noon to noon run was 170 nautical miles.
Cheers, George, Merima, Charles, Graham and Kurt


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