The Alternate WARC Awards
12 February 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 300 miles North of the mouth of the Amazon
We are a few hours from arriving back at the Equator, but not much else been happening. The wind is reaching new levels of non co- operation and seems to want to give up the ghost completely. Yesterday it was either no knots and rain or 25 knots from all directions when squalls passed through. However the really sad part is that in the last 24 hours we have had to use the motor after sailing all the way from Cape Town (3,600 nautical miles!) with only 7 engine hours. We have just put the spinnaker up again, but it is a sorry sight in such light winds.
Ah would you believe it, just as I am writing this, a bit of a bang and the spinnaker falls in the water. Fortunately with so little wind it wasn't too much of a problem to retrieve; we had been nervous of using our second spinnaker halyard, and we were obviously right to be. Now underway again with the spinnaker no 1 halyard, but still only 9 knots of wind!
We understand that all of the Rally boats have made it safely into Salvador and getting ready to partay. We will also be missing the leg awards night - the first one we have missed - so our thoughts have been with the fleet. On this subject, I have been thinking in the wee hours of the night watches that the Rally awards seem a bit limited and a bit unfair that only Rally Control gets to decide who gets them, leaving some of the real achievements to go unnoticed outside of the bar. Wouldn't it be good if the skippers and crew could nominate some awards? I would like to humbly submit some suggestions.
The Donald Crowhurst Award for the Most Creative Leg Declarations - (OK this maybe a bit of a non starter for personal safety reasons, perhaps best left as the usual bar speculation) The Captain Bligh Award for Unreasonable Skipper Behavior - (nominations from crews) The Jack Sparrow Award for Unreasonable Crew Behavior - (nominations from skippers - suspect that the last two awards could be won by the same boat) The Lucrezia Borgia Award for Creative Boat Cuisine The Mrs O'Reilly's Cow Award for Galley Pyrotechnics (points will be added for degree of burn and eyebrow loss) The Mr Bean Award for Foredeck and Rigger Competence The Lance Armstrong Award for Performance Enhancement Excellence (Equipment, Tactics etc)
Eeek, should not have broken off the blog as it is now 2 days later! The weather is mainly to blame, we have hit the mother of squall systems where we plod along with 8-9 knots only to be hit by winds of up to 39 knots every few hours (we got the first mega-one in the wee hours with only one reef in the main, it went on for three hours - what fun, just at the time everyone else was enjoying being drunk and disorderly at the Carnival in Salvador). Very frustrating as we daren't not have a reef in or put anything up too interesting, so whatever gain we get with the squall winds, we lose in the quiet patches. However we now have a very well washed down boat - amazing we haven't dissolved with the amount of water across the decks. Even with all this considered, we still don't appear to be getting anything like the fair winds J'Sea has been reporting, just seem to be getting their dregs. Heigh ho, only one hundred miles to the 2/3rds point so probably a week and a bit from Barbados (Jonathan is still counting the miles) for one very well-earned rum punch.
Must get on. Hope the fleet are having a splendid time in Brazil and will recognize us again in Grenada.
The gremilins have taken hold, we thought this blog went two days ago, but sadly the machine lied. The good news is that the weather is at last co-operating and we are on a bootiful starboard broad reach with consistent 18-24 knots for the last 2 days and looks likely to take us all the way to Barbados - we have certainly earned it, lets hope the grib files are not telling us porkies.