At Rodney Bay Marina in the next 24 hours

Here we find ourselves on our penultimate log – time in some ways has passed quickly and in other ways slowly. But it still seems a surprise to think that we will be in Rodney Bay Marina within 24 hours, all our efforts expended, we will have arrived, the Adventure completed. One thing is for sure however, the crew is going to enjoy themselves for a few days whilst there! I think the emotions of the crew at the moment are best summed up by Celia who used the term bittersweet – everyone really wants to arrive, but at the same time there is a stark realisation that this will signal the end of the adventure. But what memories we will be left with!

We are on a fast 24 hour run at the moment and in good but not heavy winds we are chasing down the barrier of 200 miles sailed in one day, ending midday UTC today. I will let you know how we got on at the end of this log. We have been close but never quite made it on this trip so far, so it would be a nice bonus. Our distance to run to the waypoint has steadily been ticking down and a few minutes ago we crossed the 200 miles to go to the waypoint mark, a huge milestone to have reached; from now on time will pass in a blur.

The winds are looking good for our run in to St Lucia – those elusive north east trade winds look set fair for the foreseeable future so at least the rest of the fleet will have a good last few days. Some of them will still be out here in a week’s time, but with the improving winds they should catch up a lot of time that we have all lost in the lighter winds over the last couple of weeks. To look at the weather on board we down load weather files through the Satellite modem and use two programs to look at the data. The first involves downloading files from a remote robot at GMN, the files coming down in gridded binary data format, which I then open and manipulate the data using a program from Ocens, called Ocens Grib Explorer. I also overlay this raw data onto our computer navigation system showing the wind and route. This is raw data and not forecasted, so I also request a second set of data files which are forecasted and come from a company called Bon Voyage. These files are more accurate as they have had a human looking at the raw data and give a better overall picture of what is happening, but you have to pay for them!

The two photos today show our watch leaders, Wouter (above) and Guy (right), who I volunteered at the start of the trip all those miles back in Las Palmas. Thanks for all your help on deck and with making the trip a success and ensuring the safety of your watch at sea.

How do I see our overall position looking? Well, not too bad actually. We have led our class through the water for the last 17 days and I don’t think we will have lost that lead overnight. Remember that at the moment we don’t know who has motored so World Cruising, the organisers, have to apply a penalty for that as well as the handicaps before we can come up with a positions list for our class. However, we have a fair handicap, we know that we haven’t motored and the crew have sailed the boat well, so I think there is every chance we will have done
reasonably well. Although we will have an idea in the next few days, it won’t be until the 20th when we get the full set of results. We will make sure to send out a supplementary log and let you all know our overall results on the 21st! Fingers crossed, let’s see how we do.

We are down to our last packet of coco pops so it must mean that we can’t be far from Rodney Bay Marina! One of our crew, Waldemar, had to drop out at the last minute and he was kind enough to give us some provisions for the trip. Waldemar is from Poland and we had some Polish Smoked ham with lunch yesterday and he gave us some Polish Vodka, which we thought we would have on arrival in St Lucia – thanks, Waldemar.

It is now midday UTC and our run of the last 24 hours has been 200 miles – spot on, and a very pleasing run! We have 183 miles to run to the waypoint and our ETA into St Lucia should be around 0700 – 0800 local time Thursday, depending on the strength of the wind today. Everyone is very excited and all is well on board.

A demain, Julian