Anthony Hopkins and team enjoy the ARC sleigh ride towards St Lucia with just under 900 miles to go
No, not the sixties pop group, but the three degrees of longitude that Eternity achieved between midday yesterday and midday today. We were not sure whether this was possible. Five days ago we did 2.59W and were credited with 176 miles, then two days later we did 2.57W and 171 miles.
Lats night by midnight we were a quarter of an hour behind schedule, but then Ettie really got moving, and it was exhilarating stuff, surfing down the waves in the dark. We had to roll in the headsails a bit on a couple of occasions, but it did not make much difference. The boat still raced along, and on board it was noisy, and bumpy, but by midday today we had clocked up 3.02W. Of course today’s record is tomorrow’s target, and can we beat it ? Time will tell, but we have made a good start to this next 24 hours.
The speed and motion of the boat have reduced my typing capacity by 50 per cent because I can only us one hand . The other one has to hold the computer to stop it falling off the chart table! Nobody is complaining though because we now have less than 900 miles to St Lucia, and the dog days in the early part of the trip, when we struggled to get boat speed, or even steerage way are a distant memory.
Still no luck with the fishing. A turbo charged yellow fin tuna somehow managed to get hold of the hook on our line yesterday, but before we could reel him in he got away, with the hook.
There have been some spectacular sunsets in the last few days, and although we have watched carefully, we have not seen the green flash. When I last wrote we were just coming to the end of a 36 hour spell with the spinnaker up, and were debating whether to carry it through the night. We decided to take it down, and one and a half hours later we had succeeded. The probability after that effort is that it will stay in the locker for the rest of the trip, and there is a young lady in Southampton who will not be sorry if that happens.
We feel quite lonely out here sometimes. We have not seen a commercial vessel for over a week, no dolphins or turtles either, and only the occasional mast head light on the horizon at night. Bird life is limited too but we have seen a few petrels, a Sooty Shearwater, and especially a red-billed tropic bird. This bird with its distinctive white tail streamers is a native of the Caribbean, and we saw it at least 1,200 miles from there.