Guy Hoare aboard the British Island Packet 380 Panulirus describes life at the rear of the ARC fleet 5/12/06

Log date Tuesday 5 December

Life near the back (we are officially a few places off the back apparently) continues to potter on much as it has done for the last week.

More flying fish have been committing suicide on our decks each night but we have not yet bumped into any snoozing whales. These are apparently the latest Atlantic hazard, though quite how we are supposed to spot large submerged marine life is not exactly clear. I don’t think our cruising yacht has been equipped with all the latest fish – (or even mammal-) finding technology.

We have finally encountered some of the dreaded squalls but so far most of them seem to have missed us. The first went south of us, the second veered north, so with a bit of luck the next one will hit us bang on. If squalls study statistics in their spare time (which I’m sure they do) the next one should come on my watch too which will break the monotony of fish burial and moon gazing.

Last night the most memorable thing on my watch was the moon going behind a cloud. Actually, it was a great cloud. It looked like a really menacing dwarf, with a pointy beard and curly shoes and everything. And it was really dark and scary.

Nothing has broken yet today (it is not yet lunch-time, mind) but yesterday we destroyed our whisker pole in quite spectacular style. We now have a dramatic piece of twisted metal on the front of our mast which resembles a brutalist/modernist mis-placed figurehead. Nice.

Otherwise there’s not much to report. Plenty of sunshine during the day, the searing heat tempered by cooling ocean breezes and mild, balmy moonlit nights under a canopy of stars. Just like England in December really.