Crew washing-up training and other important things aboard ARC yacht Northern Child. Julian Sincock reports 6/12/06

Log DateWednesday 6 December 2006
Position15.40N 41.39W

In yesterday’s log we touched on the comfort thing, and it has changed again – today there just isn’t any pretence of it! The wind has held above 20 knots into 30 all night and into this morning, bringing up the sea state with it. The sun is out, it’s really hot and the sea is a deep ocean blue. As the waves rush up behind us they build and build, Northern Child’s stern lifts up to greet the breaking crest and whoosh, we runoff down the wave, again and again.

Talking of photographs, the one with today’s log(see left)is of Dave E doing the washing up – which he does a lot (along with Dave A, who seems very well house trained) The unusual thing about the photo is that apparently he has been spoilt rotten at home and hasn’t done the dishes, for years, and… years and years. But it’s okay, Mrs E, Northern Child has him well trained and when he gets back to you he will be a changed man. As if! Tout change et rien ne change.

Kitty was kind enough, and we all feel lucky, to have produced mashed celeriac with last night’s meal. If you don’t like celery, you’re not going to like celeriac, the root ball of wild celery. Kitty’s knowledge of the Spanish language has often come in handy, but this time we were ordering celery, ended up with celeriac and were treated to, I’m not sure what it was.

During Happy Hour last night we wrote down anticipated ETAs from all the crew. Having spent all afternoon pondering the problem, we have arrived with a spread from 0200 on Tuesday morning from Luis, to midnight on Tuesday night from ‘Enri. Last year I supported a local St Lucia Charity, the Ciceron Orphanage, and proceeds from our ETA competition will be going to them. The orphanage has between 25 and 30 street children residential, and is not supported by any government agency. It occurred to me that the fleet that annually sails on the ARC is extremely wealthy, and as the future lies with the children of the islands, perhaps we should invest in the children, their future.

I feel that the islands can go one of two ways: An increase in crime and associated lack of security for locals and tourists alike, which will just drive down tourism numbers, the lifeline of the economy. Or start trying to give the next generation a better start in life, decent conditions to live in a more secure upbringing. I know which future I would prefer to see. Here endeth the Sermon.

The speed keeps on going the right way – up. Brendan from the Windy City now lays claim to 11.8 and with the wind up and the waves starting to build we should see this easily passed in the days ahead. Position wise in the fleet we are doing ok, but it is difficult to know as in the calm patch a few days ago a lot of boats motored. However, the sailing is fast and fun and that’s all we care about.

At the moment we are going through the motions of putting in a gybe and heading out to the west again, hopefully more directly towards St Lucia. The crew have settled in and learnt a lot about working Northern Child in high winds and seas, and it is wonderful to see Brendan, Dave A and everyone skipping around the foredeck like mountain goats – Brendan wants me to point out that in his case, it is a rather large mountain goat!