Scorching sun and little wind as the crew fear the record might be slipping from their grasp

Picture: lunch on the hoof

Dec 3

Today was yet another scorchingly hot day. The off watch took refuge below decks where, although the stifling heat made any movement uncomfortable, at least there was some protection from the sun. Morale dipped to an all time low as it seemed the possibility of getting to St Lucia was taken out of our hands. With the relentless heat, minimal breeze, and relative lack of activity, it has been very difficult for the crew to remain focussed on boat speed. We are at the mercy of the wind gods.

There was a sailboat called Spirit

That entered the ARC to win it

But the wind didn’t blow

And the boat didn’t go

So the crew decided to swim it.

We’ve been playing word association games, swapping riddles and jokes and talking the kind of rubbish you could never get away with on land without someone calling for the men in white coats.

Despite a gorgeous moonlit night, half an hour ago I was ready to come down here and write “Enough already!”. The breeze has been teasing us for days, the promised wind has still not filled in and we were going slowly in the wrong direction, the course record slipping out of our grasp. However, we’ve just put in a gybe, the wind has filled in a little, and we’re making good speed towards St Lucia again. Whether we can get there quickly enough to beat the record remains to be seen, but at least the boats behind us seem to be having as tough a time in the light stuff.

How fickle sailors can be. A few knots increase in wind speed and the atmosphere aboard has changed from one of resigned boredom to excited anticipation. The goal seems achievable once more. Let’s just hope this wind holds.