Caylie Jeffery with the latest log from ARC yacht Steamy Windows 14/12/06

Date of log 13 December 2006
PositionN 14 08, W 52 07

One of our on-board electrical toys…oops, did I say toys… I mean, one of our important navigational tools tells us TTG. That means the Time to Go until you reach your destination. By looking at the boat’s speed, and distance to go, it updates this number every second or so. Three days ago, we were steaming along at 7 knots, and the TTG said we had 120 hours to go until we arrived! That worked out to be about 5 days – excellent. Now, we are going at a whopping 4 knots, and guess what our TTG says- 125 hours to go. So, in three days, we seem to have gone backwards just because we have slowed down.

So, to make us feel better, we have banned the use of that particular setting and now only look at the distance to go – 517 miles. We have completed 2,424 miles in 17 days, with an average speed of 6 knots.

Typically, nobody is ever happy with the weather they get, but we are in gentle seas, with sunny weather and light breezes, with plenty of cold beer left, so there are few complaints on Steamy Windows.

Yesterday, we were finally visited by a whale. He stayed with us all
morning, keeping time with the boat and lying on his side checking us all out while we hung out over the guard rail. We looked up the Sea Creatures manual and worked out that he was a Minx whale, and about the same length as Steamy (10 metres). His underbelly was bright white, and because of this we were able to see how impossibly blue the sea is here. If only we were brave enough to go for a swim.

Today is fishing day – I am feeling much better now as sea sickness seems to have left me alone today – so we will finally get out the plastic pink and white squid, and tempt the wonderful dorados, wahoos and tuna that are longing to be in a fish curry tonight. We have all the makings on board for Indian curry, Thai curry and sushi, but I guess we will probably do what we always do and BBQ the little fella!

Mood of the crew is improving – we got hit by a nasty squall the other night that scared the daylights out of the crew, and had the skipper being very authoritative (ie shouting a little!). Mind you, we needed it. We were all fearful of future squalls after that, and the smallest cloud made the knees shake yesterday, but after a clear night and good sleep, we all feel better and confident again.

Made contact with a passing cargo ship called Noble Spirit yesterday, en route to Equatorial Guinea, because she was the first boat we had seen in two weeks. The skipper had seen many yachts over the last two days, and was happy to hear about the ARC, and be filled in on who we were as well. You don’t realise how alone you are until you see another sign of life. He was very nice and even called me ma’am, which made my day.

So, next time I write, hopefully our TTG will be about 24 and not 124 hours. Fingers crossed for a big fish today, and fair winds to you all.