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2 December 2005, 10:32 am
Over Halfway
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Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2005

For the ARC crews out in the Atlantic, after twelve days at sea, the thoughts of some are turning towards an arrival in St.Lucia, whilst others are contemplating another 1000+ nautical miles at sea. At least with new found strong trade winds, the later part of the passage should be much faster than the early stages.
'We are now officially half way distance wise, with 1,438 miles still to run' said skipper and daily log writer Julian SINCOCK of Northern Child, adding 'We are confident in saying that we are well over half way time wise as we are now firmly in the favourable winds.'

After Wednesday's drama involving an evacuation from the yacht Caliso more details have emerged of the mid-Atlantic incident. Speaking from the bridge of the MV Endless, skipper Mark MATTHEWS described the situation on board Caliso. 'We discovered we were taking on water and the keel box was damaged. This, we think, stems from an accident the boat had a couple of years ago which, although seen to by a surveyor, was obviously not fixed properly.' He continued, 'the danger was that if the keel got worse and fell off, the boat would have capsized with no notice. Last night was a nightmare with most of us sleeping on deck all night.'

The crew of Caliso were evacuated just after 19:00UTC on 30 November and are all safety aboard the MV Endless, on route to the American port of Philadelphia with an expected arrival around 8 December.

Food seems to have been a major theme in our logs today. Diarist Matthew HOOD skipper of Lagoon 440 Mjali had this to say 'A check of rations by Jon and Isabel revealed that we won't need to tighten our belt buckles just yet, although the biscuit situation is getting desperate and Jon reckons tea is too wet without one. Crew member stashes of goodies have become of some significant value. I am waiting for the market to peak in fudge and then I'm going to clean up!'

Some disappointing news from Whitbread, who reported that their fridge had broken, defrosting several day's meals in the process. Whilst the crew will not go hungry, there was some hasty menu re-planning as a result.

On other yachts, the rations have been well supplemented by regular luck with the fishing lines. Daily logs have been full of fisherman's tails of landing 'the big one', and vivid descriptions of the culinary triumphs that were the end result, such as wahoo fried in garlic, red peppers with an onion/pepper salsa and rice, cooked by David on Matelot yesterday.

There was good news today from Gambit, who had finally arrived in Cape Verdes, having diverted several days ago to get medical treatment for crewman Andy. After a day successfully restocking the boat with fuel and water, a visit to the doctor and a fresh water showers all round, Gambit have put to sea again.

On December 1 it was time for a treat for the two young crew on Tamarisk, James aged 7 and Anna, 9. Mum Penelope explains 'the children had the first chocolates out of their Advent calendars today which feels a bit weird given that it's quite warm enough to do night watches in tee shirt and shorts.'

Bob TROTTER on Whitehaven also picked up on the joys of a tropical night watch is his log entry. 'The nights are almost as warm as the days now, making it a little harder to sleep. Night watches are still the best, even though we get a little sleepy during them, as they are an excellent time for quiet reflection in an especially beautiful and calming environment. Steaming coffee or tea help keep us awake.'

Meanwhile in St.Lucia, the ARC team who will be meeting and greeting each yacht as it arrives, are now in Rodney Bay, busy preparing for the arrival of the first yacht, likely to be Leopard of London early on Saturday 04 December.

Jeremy Wyatt (As Amended by ISAF)
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