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Challenger 1 – ARC 2019

By Tall Ships - December 10th, 2019 | Posted in Voyager blogs No comments

Day One

So much build up! So much planning! So many emotion!

Finally, 6 St Lucian, 4 from Gran Canaria and 2 Brits joined Challenger 1 today. I can’t think of a time where a crew has joined my boat with So much expectation.

The training had to Start Somewhere. People always ask me “how do you prepare a person/Crew for Such a big challenge?”. For me in this Case the answer is easy… “Take them offshore”. The ARC is an offshore race after all. Offshore I where they will be tested, offshore is where we will train.

The job of introducing and setting the scene on these long trip is still a job that daunts me. I’m mindful and conscious that I have 5 Language onboard, English being the common on, and that my accent is maybe more difficult for our non-British participant too.

Every briefing is about the recipient. It’s not about me getting the most impressive detail into the conversation, it’s not about me talking for hours with no action, and it’s not about everyone understanding every part or Step. It about the recipient, knowing what they need to do to be Safe and to be a part of the operation. It’s not about me!

Training Day 1

We began in what I think is a normal way, a Simple meet and greet, around the table, coffee in hand: name, background, Sailing experience and the part you’re nervous about.

I was amazed, no one shied away, and no one refused to answer. Full answer. Clearly everyone here had a “Want” to be here. We all listened to each other, even jokes crossed the language. Amazing!

A walk around deck and below followed by lunch and a lifejacket brief and before we all realised there was nothing left to do but go Sailing.

Outside of the marina, a few details about winches and straight into a mainsail hoist. 250KG of ail, 30 Meters to the top of the mast in le than 90 Second! Incredible! The same quickly followed with a Yankee hoist, different group, equally impressive.

Light breeze forced us offshore further than intended but a man overboard drill made room for our first Sail change. Again well performed, and well understood. And our final manoeuvre, shortly after Sunset was a Gybe to take us South of Gran Canaria and into a watch System. It’s important that every one understands the need to keep a watch, and there is really no better place to see why. Lots of traffic, fishing gear, Helming in the dark, changing Sea and weather condition.



Day Two

The UK team arrived in Grand Canaria in the evening. We travelled to Las Palmas marina where we met up with the grand Canaria team and the guy from world cruising. We all then went out for dinner and met some of the other boat inside of the marina. the following morning we joined the ARC opening ceremony made up of all of the boat in the marina and the ‘VIP’ from St Lucia, it was amazing to see how many participant there are in the race and it gave u all an idea about the Scale of the event.

Day Three

On day two the St Lucia team had arrived in Las Palma we all met at the Yacht Club where we had a Small ‘youth team’ meeting followed by an introduction to the boat. We then had a Series of safety brief before setting Sail. We planned for a 2 day Sail returning on the Wednesday morning. We ran through some drills So that everyone became comfortable with the boat. We also became used to the watch System which we knew would be useful for the actual crossing. Generally everyone IS in high spirit!!

Day Four

The Prep

I sit here at the end of 10 days of prep and training. My chart table is a swarm of receipts, boat parts of varied stats of repair and crossed “to do” lists. I’m never really sure what I’ve done by the end of a prep week. I’m always exhausted, I’m always ready to go to sea, but would struggle to make a list of all that had been happening. That said, it must have gone ok. My check lists are complete, my accounts balance and the remaining troubles fall into the “nice on passage job” category.

Provisioning has been less of a challenge than normal. My colleagues on the trip down did a great job of packing the boat with dry and long life stores so all I really did was fresh and essentials:

  • 150KG of fresh fruit and veg
  • 35KG meat
  • 2 tonnes of water
  • 1000 Litres of Diesel

More importantly, the crew have come together. By the end of their training we had started to see communication happening, friendships forming, now we have had the chance to socialise, many of the guards have fallen. For me this is nice to see.

We are also seeing people feel at home onboard. There is a mutual respect for space and time. Mornings are proving to be a little bit challenging for some and I see being on time for watches not being a thing for a while, other than that, I can say I’m happy.

I can say honestly that I’m ready to go to sea. Las Palmas is one of my favourite places to visit, truly, but it gets to a stage in every prep stage where you accept the little things you’ve probably missed and you get out. That’s where I am now.

With this crew, I firmly believe we have a great crossing ahead of us. The stories have already begun. We will see what it brings…

Gary Rutherford (Skipper challenger 1)

Day Five

Following after our training sail, we settled back into life on land and enjoyed being in the confines of the marina showers! That evening was the night of the fancy dress party, where we all clubbed together to attempt to buy and look like snow white and 15 dwarves. We have to give credit to our glamorous watch leader Alex for taking the lead role. Some say, we pulled it off – others not so much! Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The next day, we were fortunate enough to let off handheld flairs, watch a helicopter rescue scenario and jump in the pool for life rafting exercises. That afternoon, we were joined by the photographer for team photos and action shots which you’ve all probably seen by now! Followed by an afternoon of down time sitting in Sailor’s bar … Friday the Spanish members took us on an excursion to Mogan Harbour and to Playa del Ingles to experience the Canarian culture. After a great day out, the farewell party was finally upon us. The team loved meeting and chatting to other boat crew over a few free drinks. The rest of the evening was a fun, interesting, and memorable night. Saturday morning was said to be a struggle for some! Final wash down of the deck in the morning and our last provisions arrived early afternoon. The task being to wash 150 kg of fruit and veg in saltwater, drying and storing.

3 Highlights from prep week?

-completed a two night sailing off the coast of gran Canaria and Tenerife

– we also did several (MOB) drills and had a safety briefing for the start of all process

-and lastly we had some wonder nights out as a group with got us to interact with each other a bit  better

Biggest challenge?

My biggest challenges are too understand all the data base system in the navigation section and also with the vhf distress routine

How do you feel about leaving?

Well im currently feeling good to be heading home at this point in time but I surely want to get the best out of this wonder opportunity, where I get to a stage where  I understand everything that has to do with sailing on the challenger 1 sailing boat and it would be of great gratitude keep  push my fellow crew member so we all leave skipper Gary and first mate Sam on the level

Blog by Gabie and Hugo (Blue Watch), Questions answered by Tyrus (Red Watch)

Day Six

IT’S amazing to see how quickly people, and particularly young people, Settle into a routine. Less than 24 hours into watches of four on, four off at night, Sixes during the day and I have yet to hear a “don’t want to get up, I am tired”. The odd “my watch was earlier, don’t wake me” just Shows how confused people are when you wake them after four hours of Sleep to Sit in the dark. Our twelve young crew member have already impressed me with how much interest, enthusiasm and initiative they Show, jumping at the chance of even Small jobs like doing the dishes and keeping the log. While this might Seem mundane and unimportant, it makes my job as a watch leader much easier, since I can then delegate and focus on other things like helming practice or sail hoists/drops. Even though surely everybody has a different idea of what they want to get out of this voyage, without a doubt every one of our crew  will benefit hugely showing this attitude.

Of course, the first few days offshore always feel a bit messy – why Should I go lay in a Semi-dark, Semi-comfortable bunk if I could be Sat on deck, enjoying the Sunshine? – well, because four hours of Sleep just isn’t enough. Additionally, we have people from very different cultures on board, and getting used to the patterns of boat life takes up a lot of energy. Also, each one of us, and that includes me, has to reposition ourselves on this boat, on this crew, and find out who we are in relationship to the others.
Throughout the night watches and the Sunny morning watch, though, it’s been a pleasure to See our crew interact with each other, Start asking questions about family and friends, and overcoming any language barrier with music, Signs and a Smile. For me as a foreigner myself it is amazing to see cultures coming together, and people connecting – and my experience sailing is one of the best ways of making that happen. Within the watches, people need to find ways of making things happen, and communication happens naturally. Thus having broken the ice, is then a logical consequence to keep talking, sharing, and enjoying together. This then quickly spills over in between watches as well, and by the time we arrive back in Las Palmas roughly 38h after slipping lines, we will certainly have become one crew to cross the Atlantic together – and enjoy it!

Anna Jacob – WL

Day Seven

How do you feel about the progress challenger 1 has made so far in the race?

It’s been a slow start to the race due to the winds. We have made great progress in heading south, closer to the trade winds which hopefully will set us up for the second half of the passage. Our first night was by far the best for progress, reaching up to 15 knots. Fingers crossed that next week we can match this again.

What do you like about life on board challenger 1?

Life onboard challenger 1 is very different to life ashore. There’s not much pricey living so close to each other. On the plus side, we have grown as a team and formed strong bonds which makes times easier when are progress is slow. Meal times are the one time where both watches are up and socialising over delicious food that one another has cooked.

How do you find the night watches?

We can’t say night watches are our favourite however we have to push through them. On the plus side we have seen many dolphins playing at the bow. Overall there going good so far with no major issues.

Blue watch (Hugo, Flood)

Day Eight

Today was a good sunny day whilst we keep heading west. We had a good start this morning since we caught 2 Mahi Mahi’s in which the Lucian crew prepared homely meal of fish broth. After the delicious dinner and as per usual, we had a karaoke session that got a bit out of hand and almost woke up the rest of the boat. After a deep conversation amongst the crew, we established a robust recycling system that made everyone sufficiently happy on board (even the most eco-friendly crew members).

Blue watch (Gabie and Enrique)

What thing are you enjoying the most these days?

The sailing itself is becoming increasingly better as the wind improves on top of this the fishing is on the up and sunbathing is an always popular pastime on board.

Which has been your favourite meal so far?

The evening meal today has defiantly been a highlight of the trip, the St Lucian crew made ‘fish fingers’ from the Mahi Mahi that was caught in the morning as well as a broth which seems to be very popular with everyone.

What would you recommend to a crew member in order to stay awake during a whole night watch?

I find the best way to tackle the appropriately labelled ‘grave yard shift’ is to try to get your head down when your off watch as soon as you can and try not to sleep on watch, this will help your body get used to the watch systems. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks also work.

(Red watch Lucas)

Day Nine

The days surely blur together now – on and off watch are more important distinctions now, and dates and time are only numbers you put in the log.

A seasoned sailor that I look up to very much once wrote about ocean passages that when the routine of ‘sail, eat, sleep and repeat’ sets in, sailors are faced with the loss of social complexities that make up our lives on land. Without phones, social media, TV, or really any mental energy to use the above, life becomes simpler, and more about the now. Thus, I find myself in a strange place of missing people who are not here – mostly the ones I wish I was sharing this experience with – but missing them with a joyful longing ache, most pronounced when listening to the innermost part of my being, which really only happens on night watches. Mostly, I am happily sailing along; I am being kept busy with the running of the watch and whatever tasks we have set for that watch. Some of you will be thrilled to read that mostly, I am just living in the moment, rather than contemplating the future or missing the past.
‘Being kept busy’ might be the wrong term, though – how can the few simple tasks take up a whole six hour watch? I keep thinking “today, I will bake a cake”, or “today, I’ll get to studying that Yachtmaster chapter on weather” and then find myself running out of time. I blame and credit this entirely to the beauty of my surroundings – looking at the endless blue waves, or getting lost in the infinite starry sky; anybody who has ever been out here knows one’s thoughts come to rest and just you just exist. Rather than being a sad state of non-thought, it is a very pure form of existence; and I believe that to many offshore sailors this is the addictive high they crave as soon as they have come inshore.

Having had my philosophical musings, I guess most of you are as if not to say more interested in the practical side of things here on board Challenger 1. The last two days saw us having light winds during the day and a nice breeze at night, and thus we’ve made steady enough progress not to have any of the Tall Ships crew worried – even though the young people have started talking about having a Christmas tree on board, much to the amusement (or not!) of us watchleaders. Shower days (today!) are a highlight, as are the much awaited words “you may go off watch”. We’ve been getting some excellent food, thanks to people losing their initial reservations in the galley.
Sleeping patterns are still difficult for some, especially when it’s nice and sunny with a bit of breeze on deck during the day, while down below it gets stuffy and very warm. Some people opt to just stay awake during the day – but that usually changes after a couple of very sleepy night watches, as sleep deprivation gets the better of everyone. During those sunny moments on deck, though, there is a lot of laughter to be heard, and at times I have to hide my proud smile at for example the discovery of how the St Lucian’s dance differs from the European way of moving next to each other. This voyage will definitely open new cultures, in many ways, to each of us – and there is so much more horizon in front of us!

(Anna Jakob, Watchleader)

Day Ten

A couple of very hot past days as we make our way west. The breeze has been fairly light but everyone on board is in good spirits and the prospect of some good conditions early next week has certainly helped to boost the team. Our course has been unchanged and our progress steady. Last night some of the crew enjoyed a fish (unknown species) and banana broth which didn’t fail to raise a few eyebrows but everyone is keen for some bigger fish. Only 2241 nm till St Lucia!

Red watch (Lucas)

What are you most looking forward to when we reach the other side?

Well I am most looking forward to the welcoming that the people of my island will provide to us as we are proudly representing then. Oh..! and lets not forget to mention that 12 hour power nap am going to have as soon as we hit the docks.

What’s been a highlight of the trip so far?

there have been numerous highlights to the trip so fare but if I had to pic the best it would be the fancy costume party. The reason for this is because  its quite fascinating to see people of all different cultures partying together and having a good time dancing to music and socializing. Also the Start of

Day Eleven

Day Unsure

We are well underway and all finally understanding the watch system and what is required. I will start with my thoughts on the first few days. Race day had arrived and although being on land was entertaining I felt it was finally time to get sailing and see how this team of St Lucians, Gran Canarians, Swiss and British would pull together and work as one. The team has been great, and as always the universal language of music and my dulcet tones certainly get a few remarks in all languages, but the karaoke must go on.

My words on Day (3-4?), we ended watch at 7am on a beautiful sunrise, knowing that when we would awake a lovely lunch would be waiting, this would be the energy needed to propel us through the shift as light breezes have set in. Of course with the lovely day arriving I’m sure a few of my watch couldn’t sleep so took the time to chat and interact with the other watch, It’s nice to see the whole crew coming together as although we are divided into watches we still all have one goal and are always reliant on the person stood next to us.

Cooking, if any of you know me is my favourite chore! I got so good at using Just Eat that for me this is the most difficult part of this trip, I am always thinking with so many different cultures my standard beef casserole, from a packet mix, wouldn’t go down well. After a couple hours on watch and changing my ideas on how and what to cook with it, we ended up with a plan. This was going well, meat was fried the stew was starting to come to the boil. I thought I still hadn’t finalised my vegetarian option. With the help of the Skipper and fortunately the other watch leader who had awoken early we managed to put together a resemblance of a lovely vegetable stew, or so I’m told.

It is currently 1:16 Boat Time and 2:16 UT and there are no words to describe how the beautiful the stars in the sky are, and we are flying at 5.5 Knots with 12 Knots of breeze, keep it up team and let’s see what the next few days bring.

(Alex WL)

Day Twelve

The trip so far, the mates perspective….

Prepping the boat in Gran Canaria always seems a blur, normally a week of inventories, fixing things and walking around Las Palmas ordering food, looking for certain spares in different parts of the city then getting back to the boat and realising what we’ve forgotten so back to the chandlers or the Hiperdino we go… this year we were lucky to have longer and we seemed to be much more organised, (only doing an average of 8k a day) which meant we found ourselves wandering what we’d forgotten! I of course have to mention the hard work of our watch leaders, who both brought the boat down from the UK, meaning they know the boat well and despite being volunteers, are always keen to help when they could be lying on a beach, thanks guys. After meeting the crew, training, provisioning and maybe a bit of partying, which feels like months ago now, race day was upon us…

The spectacle of staring the ARC is always amazing, sails as far as the eye can see and slowly watching the fleet spread out. Some final waves to the committee boat as we got across the start line, and finally we are away, it’s always sad to see gran Canaria slip away behind us, they really know how to look after us, but also a great relief to be away and getting on with it! Finally the trip has begun and the crew begin to get into life on board…

First 24 hours was a cracking sail, better than we expected, giving the crew a chance to begin practising downwind sailing, a key skill for this trip, the better we helm the faster we go…. Until the wind dies of course! Which brings us to now, day 3 maybe? A long afternoon with not a lot of breeze, still managing 3 knots most of the time but lots of concentration required. The crew are taking it all in their stride and since the sun came out the deck all of a sudden has turned into a washing line and small groups of people lying in the sun wherever the sails aren’t casting shade… also the first salt water bucket showers followed by proper showers which always lifts the spirits!

It’s a nice homely spirit on board now, everyone working together to plan and cook meals, clean, help out with sail manoeuvres, eat biscuits, drink tea and even a little bit of star gazing!

Just keeping our fingers crossed for more wind now, the consensus from our Saint Lucians is to be in in time for a concert on the 14th…. I’ll cross my toes as well.

Day Thirteen

The morning began pretty calm and simple with the blue watch waking up for the 7 am to 1 pm watch, fortunately we were up early enough to spot the lovely dolphins playing around in the waves made by the bow of the boat, the 7 am watch is quite peaceful and the temperature is just right. Unfortunately there is always work to be done on the boat.  moments after enjoying the  sunrise we were summoned to the bow by the first mate Sam to change around some sails due to the lighter wind conditions .The remaining hours of our watch was filled with lots of funny story’s and some music. At the end of our watch we prepared lunch for the crew and hit the beds. the watch schedules are starting to become more of a routine and life onboard is starting to feel like home. Currently it is watch change on the boat as we are writing this and its time for bed  gotta get some rest before our next shirt.

Blog by Adonai and Flood (Blue Watch) ,questions answered by Lucas and Krishna.(red watch)

How does the sleeping hours affect you on the boat?

Naturally at this stage in the race everyone is still getting to grips with the watch systems and the hours that come with it. However I suspect that within a couple more days as we all begin to settle into the watches we will begin to get used to the early wake ups and later nights and it will become less of a struggle. I feel this will also help the boat to become more efficient and people will really get the most out of this experience.

Has anything changed in your expectations changed over the past 24 hours

I would not say that my expectations have changed but the past 72 hours has put more perspective on the scale of the trip.

What do you plan to achieve after this experience on the challenger 1?

I would say that the experience on challenger one has made me recognise that I want to do more sailing in the future and possibly another Atlantic crossing possibly on a private boat or commercially as a ‘watch leader’.

Day Fourteen

Big Atlantic swell, strong winds – this is what we have been waiting for. Up until now we have been making steady progress however today was the day we made 206NM in 24hrs. This stands as our record but with the weather forecast showing positive signs, we are certain that we can top this. Life onboard for some has been challenging with constant rocking making great entertainment watching people cook. Normal jobs carry on for us blue watch, washing up, cooking and cleaning the bilges. Supper was prepared by our watch leader Alex – Can’t go wrong with pasta and tomato sauce! We have another breezy night, surfing waves with flying fish ahead of us!

(Hugo, Blue watch)

If you had a choose to replay a moment on boards this vessel what would it be?

Probably would be the excitement of catching our first fish after having a slow start to the race.

What’s been the highlight of week 1 at sea for you?

Personally for me it has to be the bacon sandwiches for breakfast made by Skippy

What’s your go-to on watch song?

Angels (Robbie Williams)

Has the ‘Tea Stain’ nickname stuck for poor Enrique?  (Sorry if I’ve just revived it)

This is correct, he also has many more!!

(Ariana, Blue watch)

Day Fifteen

I’ve not written for quite a long time, I think since we left Gran Canaria. There’s a few good reasons for this, mostly because I’ve been tied up with all kinds of different aspects of keeping this all running, but mostly because for the last 7 days I’ve had the worst cold/flu bug I’ve ever experienced. With that mostly behind me now you’ll be pleased to know I’m back to full singing voice.

So what’s been happening, well, Challenger 1 made some good progress south in the early part of the race. I have been known in the past for controversial lines in this race. And so far it appears to be paying off nicely, currently we around 130NM to the south west of challenger 2, and just about to cross the halfway mark (expected around 0400UT 04/12/19)

The crew have been through a lot together now, and understandably there are both friendships and tensions forming. Ultimately I think all have the greater need of the boat and team at heart. If I ask then things happen.

The questions asked always baffle me. Early on in the race I was asked by the same person just minutes apart:

  1. Why aren’t we going faster? I need to get to St Lucia by X date for my flight!
  2. Can we go to Cape Verde for a beer?

All things like that behind us, we only have the small things to get upset about. Is today a shower day? Why did one of my socks fall off the guard rail into the sea? What should I do with the 1 remaining sock?

With new breeze in this second half off the race, helming has become tougher even for the previously strong helms. So for now it’s avoid the gybe, keep her quick and keep her flat.

Gary Rutherford (skipper)

What’s been the highlight of week 1 at sea for you?

For me the first week is all about routine. Getting into life at sea again. Relaxing into that simpler life.

What’s your go-to on watch song?

The music has be massively varied throughout. To try and pick 1 song would be absolutely impossible. I’ve been amazed by the number of time an argument has erupted about where/what language a song originated in.

What do you know of the other boats in the fleet? Have you seen any? Have you been part of the SSB Net?

We are currently swarmed by ARC fleet boats. I understand this afternoon’s watch had some contact with one by VHF and a short progress report followed from each. With the SSB we’ve had little luck partly down to the route that we took (range to other boats on given frequencies) but also times being a little tricky onboard with watch changes. We are all looking forward to catching up with the fleet on arrival.

Has the ‘Tea Stain’ nickname stuck for poor Enrique?  (Sorry if I’ve just revived it)

Enrique is generally Enrique during the day, but if he is unlucky enough to fall asleep on watch then Tea stain come back out!

Day Sixteen

Today has been a very normal day on board of the Challenger 1. After some work of Alex’s team preparing for a gybe, Anna’s team carried out the gybe and we started heading south west. The wind continues pushing us towards our destination. We are currently 1400 miles from Saint Lucia, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean preparing to celebrate Michele’s Birthday. After this watch, Hugo is going to try to bake a cake (I hope it tastes better than the meals he usually cook for the 16 of us). Apart from jokes, tomorrow we have another Shower day, which probably will help to improve the crew’s mood.

(Ariana and Enrique Blue watch)


How do you wake up for a 3am to 7am watch?

Some people of the other watch come on turns and wake me up. After that we have Anna the watchleader that remember us that “is time to go on deck!”.

What day do you think we are going to arrive?

1322nm left now so around 11 December/

How does it feel to have your birthday at sea?

It means a birthday party in the middle of the ocean Atlantic! I hope to be in full energy to enjoy and make everyone remember this special day.

(Answer reply by Michele Red watch)

Day Sixteen

Well today started quiet well,breaking the 1000nm mark. After that we all went an complete our different duties. But my main duty is sleeping on deck which I feel sometimes has the most work. After my power nap woke up to seeing the first mate (sam) climbing  up the mask (96ft) which was quiet scary. A little later after that we had some hotdogs for lunch which was prepared by two of my mates ( Hugo & Adonai) Which tasted great. But no one on the boat cant beat Mr Jason (NEIL) local dishes on the trip as yet. He makes some excellent dishes with fish ,an am someone who doesn’t eat fish at all. But so far so good we all cant wait to get into port in st.lucia. 976nm to go see u guys soon .

(Flood blue watch)

Day Seventeen

Some good team work over the last few watches including rigging the port spinnaker pole ready for the other watch to gybe and this morning when we had an issue with the staysail. The clew became disconnected and swift action meant the sail was lowered reconnected and returned within 5 minutes. Good job team. Then we arrive at the roundabout, apparently rain causes team members to disappear down the companion way faster than if dinner was ready, fortunately I was able to keep enough on deck to ensure we could react to an issue. After the squall passed I found most of them asleep in the saloon, the birthday party today seems to have taken its toll! The team spirit to celebrate Michele 25th birthday was nice to see and the whole crew coming together and enjoying each other’s company longer than the normal 5 minutes around watch changes.

The steady supply of fish do help to keep moral up and even though I witnessed the scene out of the inbetweeners earlier with someone trying to knock out a fish.

The watch system is well and truly in swing although it seems to take its toll on a few crew members more than others. The nights are hard when the weather is wonderful outside and inside it’s like an oven.

There is a renewed enthusiasm from the Saint Lucians to keep boat speed up so we can get there in time to attend Chronixx and the street party, I have heard many stories and can’t wait to see the welcoming hospitality of the arrival island.


Day Eighteen

Saturday 7th December 2019 the red watch began the day with a seven (7) to one (1) shift.  I kinda helped with lunch preparation with cutting some cheese and carrots, in my spare time today I visualized and drew down some cricket fielding positions according to how I bowl when in the game of play which was quite relaxing (getting my mind off the pain in my leg).  During today’s briefing skippey (gary) told us that we’re four(4) to five(5) days away from home/ St. Lucia ( 800 nautical miles).Later this day if only luck was really on our side we could have caught the biggest catch of the trip but like I said we was unlucky.

( Krishna Red Watch)

Day Nineteen

After a long night of many scrolls and some very close crash gybes, we settled into are morning watch. Red watch carried out an early morning gybe to get us back on course after the wind shifting on our last tack. Today has been slow and steady for the progress leaving us just with 610NM to go. Kiki prepared us a lovely lunch of tomato pasta with salami which seemed to go down like a treat followed by Anna’s watch cooking supper. Today was one of our favourites, Shower day, never fails to lift the moral! With only a few days to go, preparation has started for our arrival, deep cleaning and all the rest! Our next few days should see the wind starting to fill back in which only leads to our ETA getting sooner and sooner. Not long now!!

(Hugo, Blue Watch)

Day Twenty

During our watch before dawn it was my best watch of all , Krishna did some wraps but she ate more than me that annoyed me very much but the watch leader Anna eased me a little when she baked the  most delicious cake I have eaten in a while. On our return watch I realised that the previous watch had gybed and noticed we were in a more westerly direction which made Tyrus danced with joy knowing that home can’t be far away. Moments before lunch I saw the monkey in skipper Gary when he had to climb the mast to remove the topping lift around the shouds. Then came lunch time which resulted in Anna cooking some delicious lunch but I just felt for something local but the real driving forces were Krishna and Tyrus making me feel like I became a dad at the age of five (5) .I cooked a one pot with cabbage ,potatoes ,carrots ,fish and some dumplins. We also carried the daily routines in which I pumped the gray tank, swept the floor and rearranged the sail locker along with the rest of the red watch. When my tummy was full I felt like a boa constrictor and fell asleep right where I ate the last bits.

(Neil,Tyrus and Krishna Red Watch)

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