Alec Lochore and team aboard the ARC yacht Azure discover that when the butter melts it's best to head west!

Date Monday 28 November 2005, 1200

Position N 18 09 81 W 29 23 61

There is apparently an old nautical expression ‘when the butter melts head west’. Well at 0830 on Sunday morning the butter melted and we came off a S/SSW course and finally started to head westerly. This certainly cheered up all on board.

We have had two very good days sailing up until the early hours of this morning when the wind died down and we are now only going 5 kts but this is to be expected before we pick up the trade winds during tonight or tomorrow morning. We are, for the record, 300 miles further south than when Stewart did the race 11 years ago and we are a few hours behind.

We had another ‘adrenalin moment’ which is always good fun at midnight on Saturday – we had had the spinnaker up for sometime and the wind had been steady at 18 knots giving us 8 – 9 kts of speed when suddenly it started gusting 25 kts was becoming quite physical and it was a very dark night with no moon and it all became ‘a bit fun!’ The skipper made the instant decision to get the spinnaker down and it was all hands on deck. Hugo Kirby directed a near perfect dropping and in 10 minutes the genoa was up the spinnaker in its bag and those lucky enough back to bed.

With all the talk of bikini lines etc the last time, I am reliable assured that they have the same problem on Keoma, we decided that it was not good to talk about such things – well queue Henry who suddenly informed us that with the boys magazine Loaded he had stashed away, had a free ‘Sophie Howard Kama Sutra DVD’ There was discussion about whether to make a sacrifice to Poseidon but we didn’t want to excite him too much so we have securely hidden it out of harms way!

We have finally managed to land a few fish – two yesterday but we consistently loose the big ones who manage to thrash their way off the hooks – any tips welcome! The weather has become very hot and there is a distinctive aroma below.

We have had very little contact from other boats over the past two days and indeed did not see anyone for nearly 24 hours. There has been a discussion on Keoma regarding the title of my forthcoming book on sailing the Atlantic and the suggested titles were ‘Horseman on a Boat’. Charlie suggested ‘Norfolk Goes to Sea’ but we think Nick’s suggestion of ‘Norfolking Idea on a Boat’ is the best!

Only 1,800 miles to go………… and two days until we can next wash!

Until Wednesday

Fair passage