Sailing along towards Spinnakers Bar feeling hugely positive and excited about arrival

 The Admiral has played a blinder! Following yesterdays log I entered negotiations with the Admiral and my weather programs to determine our route for the day and it worked out great so we are now sailing along towards Spinnakers Bar feeling hugely positive and very excited about our arrival. It must sound funny that we are so looking forward to our arrival when in effect this is the adventure of a lifetime and we have looked forward to it for so long; but it is like any adventure you undertake, you still want to get to the summit or the finish line, to achieve your goal is pretty special. As our goal happens to involve the best beach bar in the Caribbean, it’s even better….
This log covers a single 24 hour period of two halves – completely different halves, but with a common result: speed in the right direction. St Lucia, get ready, finally Northern Child is up and running, we’re on the  last lap and heading in. A mere 579 miles to run, which to us seems not a long way but is in fact still more than a crossing of Biscay! It seems funny to be typing this after more than two weeks at sea as we have now completed our fifteenth day: This crossing is definitely a long and challenging one but we get the impression that we are finally making good progress.
A gentle morning of lovely sailing was punctuated by shouts of Uno from the aft cockpit as four of our crew, Guy, Murat, Mel and Jon K played a series of games whilst sheltering from the sun under the bimini. In the background of the photo is Celia on the helm, Jenny perched rear right and Jon D just in the picture on the left. Perfect conditions to sail our new course up to the north west to avoid the low that has built just ahead of us and which will be devoid of any wind. 
The wind built from around mid-morning and we spent all Sunday afternoon fairly maxed out reaching under the smaller spinnaker, full mainsail and staysail in 18 – 20 knots of breeze, going at 9 knots average speed over the ground. With bright sunshine and the waves starting to break all around us we stormed across the sparkling surface of the ocean at between 9 and 12 knots, the watch on deck relishing the chance to keep the boat pushing hard in these conditions, whooping with joy as they hit high speeds on the front of the waves.
Clouds continued to build into the evening and surrounded by threatening grey clouds and 20 knots of wind on the beam we decided to ditch the kite (take the spinnaker down) and be a little bit conservative in the dark – there was no chance of much light from the moon and stars as it was so cloudy. Within a couple of hours Wouter’s watch were shortening sail under a huge rainstorm which was to set the pattern for the night – high winds and seas, reefs in the mainsail but great speed. Mel was overheard at one stage whilst driving to say that it was a bit like being at Alton Towers!    
A quick welcome in St Lucia to Tracie, Margaret and Sylvia who just happen to be the better halves of Jon K, Mick and Mel and who flew in from the UK last night. Don’t worry girls, all three guys are behaving themselves and I will make sure they get a shower before arrival! Everything is looking good at the moment for a Thursday ETA and if you keep an eye on the tracker link on you will be able to plot our final few miles into Marigot Bay.
We have had our best 24 hour run of the trip so far and have covered 194 miles under sail and 192 miles towards our waypoint off St Lucia. As I finish this log we have 579 miles to run, the winds are looking good and all is well on board. We should slip below the 500 mile mark to St Lucia sometime this evening.
As Adrian our great American Antigua Sailing Week driver would say: Go, The Child, Go!

A demain, Julian