Captain's Log, Stardate:

11/30/01

The ARC Crossing Part 2

Hi All:

We have now been at sea for over 4 days and nights with 900 miles having passed under our keel, er, dagger boards. (Our cat does not have a "keel" per se to keep it from drifting to leeward as monohulls have. Instead, it has "boards" that can be raised or lowered as need be.) A glance at the GPS shows we are now 327 miles NW of the Cape Verde Islands with only 1873 miles to go to St. Lucia. At least we're not on a slow boat to China . . . but not far from it.

From visiting WorldCruising.com, Mary emailed us to say we were 26th in the field of 243 boats. This includes the racing class and the big 50-80 footers with which we cannot compete. So we are very pleased with the results. And we are only 10-30 miles behind two of the big 58' Catanas as well.

We had been going wing on wing for three days now and some dummy on board thought we should give the spinnaker a try. So in 17 kts of following wind, we centered the mainsail and raised the "sock." However, the sock got tangled about one third up and we could neither raise it any higher nor lower it to "douse" the spinnaker. While contemplating what to do, the wind proceeded to flog the sail to death so quick--not to say clever--thinking was in order and that same dummy decided to lower the halyard so that the whole thing could be brought back on deck where we could untangle the mess at our leisure. However, a gust took the whole shootin' match over the lifelines and the boat promptly ran over it. [Later, we found out many other boats had run over their spinnakers in the night or otherwise blew them out as well.]

We spent at least an hour getting it back aboard finding that it had about a dozen small tears in the fabric. So much for the spinnaker, I thought. But Ron and Layne had different ideas. They remembered that Mary had had the foresight to buy some sail mending material back in Las Palmas and set about repairing all the little holes and tears. Several hours later . . . we were back in the race!

We found two flying fish on deck this morning but we weren't able to convert either to a more traditional fish dinner. And now, we don't even have the flying fish which, I have been told, make great sandwiches.

Will try to send this off on my Marconi set now. Hope all is well with you and your family.

Lee, Eric, Ron, and Layne