White Ocean Racing

Reports 17 November

17 November - Blog 4 - Hot on the move again.

It's like an oven here today, We have complete unbroken cloud cover and it is very hot and humid indeed, although I suspect it will get more so as we are a way off the equator at the moment. I am further south than I have ever been I think, having just passed the latitude of the Bahamas. That's the thing with sailing, point the boat in one direction for a few days, and you finish up in a completely different world - if I had some good (very good) binoculars I could see Cuba to my right, and lions and such like to my left which is incredible if you think about it, we only left home a week ago. Somehow I don't expect this when I go sailing, it's not like flying where it is never a surprise to disembark in a foreign and different country; but when you step ashore in a new country from a boat, you feel so much more like you've earned the right to be there - not that I'm planning to get off for anything or anybody until I get back to les Sables in February! I am just building up a bigger list of potential holiday destinations.

I'm so glad the wind came back - lying there listening to the pilot buzzing away was like Chinese water torture, and was driving me mad. It's heaven to have the sound of water rushing past the hull again, people who call up can hear it in the background, but I have lost a lot of ground on the pack I was trying to keep up with, Sam is over 200 miles in front now, but you have to be philosophical about these things, and keep pushing. It's like one of life's great mysteries, why when I have no wind and stop do the people in front not seem to stop for quite as long? Still, we've got the South coming up,and I've got plenty of super warm thermals from Guy Cotten, and the boat is good in stronger winds. I also have to remind myself how far there is still to go.

A friend of mine bought me a Breton Fisherman's prayer on a clay tile - not very good for weight, but I've stuck it up anyway! It is below the boat's own lucky charm which is a bolt from the Cutty Sark, which was a present to the boat when Josh had it. It was to bring good luck for getting around Cape Horn, as this bolt has apparently been around there a few times successfully when it was a part of the ship!

I found the vegetable oil to go on the Tortellini I had for lunch - it is a four litre bottle! Besides making it difficult to add a few drops (for "drops" read "large uncontrolled splashes"!), if it bursts I could have a major clean up operation on my hands. Still, It's good for upping my calory intake - when I get back I am going to join one of those online dieting clubs and recommend a few of my own recipies..........

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