Day 10 Dec 3rd - fastest day yet!

Speed: 7.7 knots @ 250.76°                 Speed : 7.6 knots @ 253.60°

Position at: 03 Dec 2013 12:00 UTC    Position at: 04 Dec 2013 00:00 UTC

Lat/Lon: 22° 52.08 N, 036° 15.50 W      Lat/Lon: 22° 24.02 N, 037° 53.03 W

DTF: 1529.6 NM                                     DTF: 1435.2 NM

4th in Racing B                                       3rd in Racing B

Best laid plans and all that, some squalls over night meant we had to drop the spinnaker and consequently lost ground, but first light today, it was back up and we have been enjoying a steady wind and 8 knots speed. Also last night was a spectacular heaven. Thousands of stars with shooting meteorite debris burning up on entry. Quite a show.

We are trying to push along as quickly as we can right now as there is a high developing which will bring light winds. With a little luck we can get past that before it takes hold of the fleet.

If we succeed we should finally find the trade winds from the East for a fast run home with 20 knots on our stern plus some squalls as quite a lot of rain forecast in early part of next week. All hoping for nice weather for our ladies to enjoy once we arrive in St Lucia.

Good run over last 24 hrs and distance covered as of 1300hrs today 1,364

STOP PRESS:we just caught a Dorado, so we eat healthy tonight

Flying Mr Norris.........who is he anyway?

Flying Mr Norris.........who is he anyway?

Day 4 Nov 27 th

Thanks for the likes and comments so far!

Milanto is doing well but the wind is 180 degree reversed from a Trade wind so annoying to say the least! Still they are out there in a good position in Racing B. For those more au fait than me you might have already discovered all the tools that Yellowbrick give you as option. Well, I only did today so now I have latitude and longitude and if you hover over a boat you are given wind speed and direction too which shows in the PredictWind bar. Another site of interest could be where you can track a weeks weather  or go to for some detailed news.

Day 4

Night of day 3 quite eventful with strong winds and high seas requiring two reefs in mainsail but progress was good both distance and direction.

Wind 25 knots at times.Rest of day was over cast and squally. We caught a big one just as dinner was about to be served. 30 knots of wind and heavy rain for about 20 mins. In addition we were now heading in the wrong direction and it looked like we might be in for another rough night so we stayed reefed down but it did not materialise and by morning the skies were clear and we were becalmed.

Karl and Nick on the 3am to 7am watch had a night fright, we were keeping an eye on a yacht on our port beam right on the horizon. When when we next looked there was an orange glow where the yacht had been it looked like a fire ! Then the glow turned into two spots of strong light that were like the eyes of a sea monster. We were stone cold sober but the beast  appeared to rush towards us across the sea with its menancing eyes and evil grin. Nick was convinced it was a high speed craft on a fast collision course with us and was about to start the engine and wake the skipper. Both had raised heart rates and adreneline pumping when we realised that it was the crescent moon rising in the west. Phew we had almost woken the skipper to alert him of the rising moon !

Guess this was an optical illusion, as the two extreme corners of the crescent moon appeared through the cloud and got larger it really looked as though an object was rushing towards us at extreme speed. Funny what tricks the mind can play.

On top of the oven problem we have managed to wrap the fishing line around the prop when executing a 360 degree turn due to sailing into a hole. This and the oven will get attention tomorrow when we expect to be becalmed for most of the day.

Weird weather we are having, no sign of trade winds and expecting strong head winds from the West on Sat & Sunday. Its an adventure so all good :-)   

Speed: 4.5 knots @ 224.89°   

Position at: 27 Nov 2013 16:00 UTC

Lat/Lon: 25° 33.43 N, 022° 57.80 W

DTF: 2258.7 NM

2nd in Racing B


Day 2 Nov 25th

By day break the land has slipped out of view behind us and its next stop St Lucia just 2,546 miles to go ! Quite spooky to think that we are now in the Atlantic and will not see land again for circa 17 days.The day started with 15 to 20 knots of wind, a little overcast and a following sea. Milanto was sailing nicely at 8 knots. As the day moved along the wave size increased and we had some periods with gusty conditions where sail changes were required. We are starting to get to know this boat and how she and we can work together. Lots still to learn mind but thats why we are here. Very few yachts in sight now as the fleet begins to stretch out over the face of the ocean. Gianni prepared a nice salad for us at lunchtime and when complemented about it advised us that it could become standard rations as the oven is broken. Little does he know we have chief engineer and fiddler on board, Mr English is on the case as we speak. Rounded the day off with our first sundowner a glass of Spanish Rioja. Let the log record that we have 2,546 miles yet to be covered and 34 bottles of wine at hand. Quarter master Wild will skilfully eke this out to ensure provisions last the duration, unless he decides we party big time at the mid ocean point which is a distinct possibility.




Sunday November 24th. Ready to go!

All victualling now complete and the crew are chomping at the bit for the start. The big question is though, what route to take?

Lots of uncertainty with the wind situation and the dockside sea dogs all giving their opinion on likely direction, strength and duration. But that's anough about Nick's digestive situation. We've got a race to win.                                                            

 Just had our first night onboard, and what was likely to have been our last night of good rest.

Once the start gun goes, we'll be into race mode. A very detailed rota of sleep, watch, cook and clean has been developed and a disciplined and rigorous execution will be required if we are to avoid on board anarchy with disastrous consequences, eg Gianni boycotting cooking and we end up on scrambled eggs for two weeks......could solve our wind problem though....


The crew - just before the start.

Las Palmas -all packed and ready to go.

Las Palmas -all packed and ready to go.

Friday 22nd November. Two days to go

Our final crew member arrived yesterday we are now six. Our skipper Vale, John E and John L, Karl, Nick and Gianni. 2 Italians one Irish one Guernsey and two Londoners of dubious descent. A  more congenial bunch you could not find in a marina bar.

The Milanto has been loaded with food and water and a modest quantity of wine to accompany the haute cuisine we are anticipating from Gianni's kitchen.

She is a sound and beautifully built piece of kit lovingly cared for and maintained. But that's enough about Nick. As for Milanto, we are all feeling really good about our choice of vessel and skipper for this adventure.

The Marina here in Las Palmas is absolutely packed. There are some 250 boats participating. In our racing  Division 2 there are about 25 boats. Competition is beginning to creep in with every boat being scrubbed and tweaked before the off. Yesterday we did our safety briefing. Today we will practice our start line sledging to ensure we secure an early advantage by undermining our competitors confidence.

We're in it to win it! We cross the start line on 24th at 1245