It's cocktail hour for the ARC 2009 crew

186nm covered in 24hours. Average speed 7.75 Knots
Position at 12:00 UTC 30 November 2009: 18.06N 37.16W

The day started uneventfully, sunny (surprise, surprise), and warm. 30 seconds after deploying our orange “fishy” lure the situation changed dramatically. The starboard fishing rod bent to nearly 90 degrees and the line started to scream off the reel. Full brake on the reel did not stop it. The extremely solid rod holder then twisted by 30 degrees to aft. Whatever was on the end of the line was HUGE. Sadly, but perhaps for the best, the beast got off the line after a couple of minutes of dragging.

After a very thorough briefing by the skipper, the crew of Asolare successfully put away our gennaker and mizzen ballooner sails, deployed the spinnaker pole on the starboard side, and then, to our great delight, flew the beautiful new, untwisted Parasailor. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and settled back to watch this wonderful sail do its stuff.

As a reward for our success earlier in the day the skipper jubilantly authorised an Asolare Cocktail Hour. First up was a rather nice Alabama Slammer (Amaretto, Southern Comfort, Gin, Lemon Juice, slug of orange juice mixer, all over ice), gratefully consumed to the accompaniment of “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynnerd Skinner and 95dBA, the second and final cocktail was a delightful concoction of banana, cocoanut and white rum (nick-named “Bananacolada”)

The highlight of the day was provided by Steve, who laboured gallantly for 3 hours in the galley, to produce an absolutely top-notch Sunday Roast Lamb dinner. If we had been giving out gold stars for achievement then Steve would have collected a bundle. We spent a leisurely evening enjoying every morsel of this wonderful feast, washed down with the daily ration of red wine.

The successes of the day and the wonderful food more than compensated for the mini-squall which tried to dampen our spirits at 0520 this morning. Peter battled the squall, Sallyanne and Steve got a bit wet, Clare put on her foulies, and Mark mostly slept through it. Maximum gust 25 knots, pah! No match for us.

Mark (and crew Peter, Stephen, Clare and Sallyanne)

Postscript: Mark currently on watch and having yee-hah moment as he passes current Asolare boat speed record of 10.3 knots!