Alec Lochore with the latest ARC news from the Swan 48 Azure

Date/time:Saturday 26 November 1100
PositionN20 10 47 W 23 40 35

Is it a plane, is it a fish….no it’s a Swan 48. We have had a couple of excellent days sailing with the highlight through Thursday night when we flew a spinnaker all night and cruised at an average over 8.5 kts – this was very exciting and for me produced a couple of the adrenalin moments (that are so required) that I had read about in ‘the brochure!’

Moral had been a little low on the boat I realise now as we have a) been going very slowly and b) had to go a great deal further south than was intended due to the tropical storm/hurricane warning in the mid Atlantic. Spirits have been lifted a great deal thanks to the new-found speed and also the fact that we have been allowed to wash! We were each given three litres of fresh water from the tank and a bucket of salt water – the difference in fragrance is considerable – roll on next Wednesday.

Friday – we cruised at about 7 – 8 knts most of the day but the wind dropped off in the evening for a few hours – Saturday morning and we are flying again and with Henry at the helm we have just hit 11.4 kts in 28 kts of wind.

We have been eating well although we have had a few serious disappointments on the fish front. Twice we have caught one and got it to the boat – nice big 10lbs size Dorado and we have lost them in landing – that is until 7.30 this morning when Charlie and Charlotte caught one and abandoned all the text book principles of landing fish at sea with gaff etc. Charlie adopted the tried and tested old fashioned method of landing? get the fish along side the boat and then simply hoick it aboard! At last the first fish for the pot all be it only a tiddler.

The bread-making was not too bad although it has been suspended for the time being as it took too long to bake and used too much gas – they haven’t got gas mark 8 on the oven here.

News of other boats – well we have been in touch with east coast friends of the skipper – Juliette and Charlie Dearlove on Keoma and they have all had bad flu and have been feeling terrible but am glad to report they are now much improved. Children Alice and Pip have refused to do their homework and have been cheating at battleships which seems entirely reasonable to me.

We have been in contact with American Fritz Huebner (yes American) skipper of Searose who sounds fun and in good voice (yes American). They threatened to come and kidnap our fair maiden Charlotte as they have only men onboard but we told them of our anti pirate tactics and they sailed off!

Finally talking of our fair maiden Charlotte a real dilema has emerged – the old bikini has produced these fairly large white lines so she has had to swap over – the dilema is that Caroline (Charlotte’s mother and skipper’s wife) will be at home on the sun bed and will appear in St Lucia with no lines at all and that (apparently) would quite frankly be disastrous.

Until Monday we hope the snow hold off in Blighty