Anthony Hopkins and team enjoy the increasing breeze aboard Eternity of Hamble on day five of the ARC

Well, this is better.

In our first ARC in1997 we only failed to exceed a hundred miles a day on one day. This year we only reached one hundred miles in one day out of the first four, and then we only did 104. This led to considerable frustration on the boat, but gradually that emotion has changed now. We realise that if we had achieved 150 miles a day or thereabouts we would be much further west than we are, and therefore much nearer to Tropical Storm Delta, and the other unpleasant weather in mid Atlantic.

We decided early on not to use the engine to drive the boat in the first stages of the race, for several reasons, and that decision looks now to have been well founded. First of all the race now looks like being much longer, in terms of miles and time, and so more fuel than anticipated will be required for battery charging, making water etc. Additionally, the forecasts for next week suggest that the trade winds may well not be blowing with the usual seasonal strength or direction, and so motoring may still be required as we get nearer to St Lucia.

Anyway, since yesterday morning we have had excellent north-easterly winds, with gusts of up to 30knts and the boat has been flying, and we hope we are making up lost ground on the boats ahead, some of whom, we feel must have done considerable motoring in the first few days of the ARC.

Like most of the fleet we are going down the West Coast of Africa, heading for the north-west tip of the Cape Verde Islands, and expect to turn right there for St Lucia either late on Sunday, or early on Monday.

No real dramas to report, but there have been a number of dolphin visits, there have been some wonderfully clear skies at night, with the occasional shooting star, and, of course we could be back home in England with the snow, ice freezing temperatures and fog!