LETTER from Heidi & Eivind _______Land asight (26.10.2005)
Painting at the breakwater in Las Palmas

Estimated time of arrival Rodney Bay, St. Lucia sometime this night. Rannveig just discovered some mountain tops in the fog, and the champagne is ready and cold. We have been out on the ocean for almost exactly three weeks, 6 persons in a 42” sail yacht. It is unbelievable that time has passed so quickly. Some of the days look the same, with beautiful sunrise and sunset, with warm days and the nights with an unbelievable amount of stars. We have been at least 2 on duty all the time. A day can look like this – 4 hours on duty, 4 hours off duty, 4 hours on duty, 8 hours off duty, and so on. And we get used it. Before we set of from Las Palmas , we thought we would get a lot of time, to wonder, what to do. But it has not been like that. It feels like we have been busy (almost) all the time.
During the first week we had some days with lack of wind. Rannveigs aunt had supported us with several sheets of Sudoku, and they were nice to have at that windless time. Ofcourse we got the time to read some books, Cinema Empire has been on with 4 good movies, we have listened to some music, watched The Ocean, been sailing, changing course, keeping on course, helming the boat, been working the winches, taking a bath in the nice Monitor-frame-shower aft, solved world-problems, been eating and sleeping. On our way across the Ocean we have set different types of records onboard the ship. Shortest distance during a 4 hour watch was 1 nautical miles – in the wrong direction. The longest distance in a 4 hour watch was 32 nm, with a record surf 14,1 knot. Ofcourse that was at the girls-watch.
We have been taking out numbers of litres of saltwater after surfing downhill in heavy winds for hours, because of a broken rudder-stock tightening simmering. The spinnaker broke appart completely one meter beyond the top, and all the way down the one side. After being one the surgery table for two days, we finally got it back up. We were rather happy that we bought the sewing machine in La Coruña after this… The spinnaker is for the moment still alive, but we call it a light wind spinnaker. The wind has been from 0m/s to more than 20m/s – we like it best when the wind is about 9 – 12m/s on the one aft side. We have been participating in the ARC in the “Racing Division”. The biggest difference from the “Cruising Division” is that using the engine for propulsion is prohibited (except in emergency). During three days a bit north of Cape Verde we had almost no wind, and we were just lying around to wait for the wind. It was a bit annoying to listen to the VHF-transmitter to hear some of the boats in the “Cruising Division” talking about motoring to Cape Verde for diesel and fresh fruit… But if we are in the “Racing Division”, we are in the “Racing Division”…, no motor except for charging the batteries.
Flying Fish is something for it selves. We often found flying fish on the deck in the mornings. One day we even had one of the under deck. A flying fish jumped out of the water, aiming at the light coming from the open decks-hatch in the small side cabin. It came in through the open hatch. Øyvind was in the upper bed reading his book, when the flying fish got him. After a short struggle the fish jumped down to the bed under Øyvinds bed, and made a poo in Vinces bed. Another flying fish hit Rannveig at her chest when she was helming the boat one night. She needed a lot of extra consentration to not overhelm the boat…
We have a Christmas Calendar, but we must admit that there is not so much Christmas feeling onboard. Maybe because of the warm conditions we are in – the water temperature is about 29ºCelsius and in the sun the air temperature is even higher. At night is a little bit better, except for the squalls which sometimes are difficult to discover.
A squall is often a dark cloud with a lot of wind in front of it, and with some really heavy rain showers. A squall normally shows up suddenly and the wind direction changes about 30º to the one side. We better set some reefs in the mainsail rather quick when the squall shows up, and then ride along until it passes. Luckily we have not had to meny of them.
Right now the Rum punch is waiting at the docks in Rodney Bay Marina. We look forward to a bed that is mostly staying still, and to eat food from a table that is not going from one side to another. We probably have to learn again how to walk straight after 3 weeks at the Ocean where everything is moving around.

Look at the pictures from the ARC>>>