Live from the ARC, Richard Yates takes it easy and explains why cocktail hour is so important

Position: 16 37 00N, 038 38 96W. Course: 277 degrees true. Speed: 8 knots.

Richard Yates writes:

Monday PM – This afternoon was a bit slower with 15 knots of wind, but it was gusty so we have not put up the spinnaker. Real racers would have, but the sun was out and there were plenty of other things to do.

1700 – We have 18-20 knots of wind and I’m glad we did not bother with the spinnaker. Joanna has banana bread and Sainsbury’s sunflower bread in the oven. It smells good and will be ready for tea. We are on GMT -1, and we move back one more hour this evening, which means another double cocktail hour.

Cocktail time is not just an excuse for a drink, but an opportunity, a requirement, for all the potential moans to come out in the open before they become serious – not that we have any problems. But on delivery jobs I have insisted on this so that little aggravations can be nipped in the bud; silly things like someone who picks up any set of oilies when another crew member is very possessive – this sort of thing can develop into a serious annoyance on a yacht.

The SatC has been busy today, starting off with a message from my wife, Fiona, at home. She is looking forward to flying to St Lucia before spending a couple of months going north to St Barts, then south to Trinidad for the Mardi Gras. After that, it is on to Venezuela. Had an Email today from Richard Le Quesne in Antibes, and from today we are picking up the USA weather forecasts on the SatC – there is so much more to read! Joanna also had to send a fax to her office to make her friends jealous.

Log reading is 1531, which means a 24 hour run of 173 miles. That’s not too bad, but we’re thinking about trying the spinnaker, as the wind tends to drop around midday for a couple of hours.