Southern Child – Daily Log 8 – Xmas at Sea

Posn: 19:23.020n40:26.000w
Wind: E 20 – 25 knts (max gust 40)
Sea: E 2 – 4m
Sails: 2nd reef in main, poled out cruising Genoa, then poled out storm jib.
Top Speed: 15 knts, Charlie, (debbies watch)

Christmas is always busy, so naturally we had to have some excitement, and Debbie was after some rain (she says Christmas isn’t Christmas without some form of precipitation, although she is Scottish) . The day started of with squalls giving gusts up to 35 knots, the lack of waves made ideal planing conditions and led to me being able to improve from a lowest speed record to the top speed record of 15 knots. The excitement contiuned eventually getting to 40 knots although it lead to a broken pole downhaul and some serious rolling, so we dropped the genoa and stuck the storm jib up. We’ve got used to working in a team and what we have to do, so the whole process of dropping and hoisting was smooth, other than on my part from almost falling of the boat (twice) and the walk of shame when I dropped a line for lashing the storm jib luff to foil, overboard, which I don’t think anyone will let me forget in a rush.

Fortunatly the weather cleared up and revealed a (almost) cloudless sky with much more gentle winds of around 25 knots, although we’ve had somne pretty big waves, leading to most of us on several occasions staggering around down below, into objects or other people if you’re unlucky. With the sunshine out we all did the naturally British thing and sat outside in the sun desperatly trying to get a resembalance of a tan, and with several people making use of the new outdoors shower on the transom.

A killer christmas lunch of chicken in ham and vegatables, soon to be followed up by champagne as the evening fades, sounds a bit too sophisticated for us (but the closest we have to champagne glasses is plastic Mount Gay Rum cups, so perhaps not too much then). As of yesterday we have reached and passed the halfway point, and with positions in, which if they are to be believed, show us slightly pulling ahead from those behind and in hot pursuit of the bigger boats ahead, so a bit of a Christmas present for us all.

Things we’re missing about land:
Fresh (hot) water showers
A bed that’s more than a foot wide
Sugar
Toilet paper
News from the real world
Clean tea towels
Being able to make a cup of tea unassisted, and without a cook strap or high chance of scalds

From all the Southern Children, Merry Christmas