We started last night at 9:49pm with Alice’s Mirror 25 minutes behind. It is now 12 noon on the 16th. We have only sailed 72 miles and are not yet at St Kilda. We had a good spinnaker run down the coast getting to Barra Head in about 2 hours with the tide. I had the first watch till 3 am it was very cold and I kept on nodding off while helming which wasn’t good. It was only dark from midnight. At 6am before going off watch I put up the masthead ktie Alice was a long way behind. I woke to find we were going at 0 knots, there was no wind except in a patch a few hundred yards away in which Alice’s Mirro was approaching from fast.
I rowed while Mary steered and we got back into the wind. We furled the masthead when the wind got up to 10 knots but we could not get it down – the halyards had jammed. Alice passed 200 yards behind us on port takc wth QII on autopilot. Mary and I btoh tried to get the masthead down and in the end I hoisted her up the mast and with a bit of juggling we got the sail down. I just got off watch and Alice is on the horizon behind. We have tried calling on VHF but no reply. The wind is still 6 knots and the masthead is up. However, looking at the forcast and weather faxes from Germany there is a lot of wind to come. By the way it is really sunny outside and the mornign chill is disappearing.
Just finished dinner. Convent Garden Chicken Soup, followed by mange-tout and potatoes with beef lasagne. Tried calling Alice again, but still didn’t get through. I heard Modi calling Telegroup though. Talked to Alex apparently they have little wind and rounded St Kilda at 6:15pm. It is now 8:15pm and we are three miles off. I have the graveyard watch this leg, 11-2 in the morning. Yuck…! Last night the wind switched so I took down the asymmetric and rehoisted it later. During a rain storm this morning the asym again came down in a big black cloud, just after passing Sula Sgier another small barren island. It has again been a sunny day and we have made good mileage along the rhumb line with north westerly wind to continue according to the forecast. Only 203 miles to go at this rate we will be in Lerwick by late thursday evening. Food tonight again fresh soup, potatoes, carrots and chicken and white wine sauce.
Assymetric was up and down in the night like a yo-yo. What had Mary lectured me about in leg 2 – there’s no point in putting up a sail for 30 minutes. Anyway I can be out of my sleeping bag, get the kit down and band it all in about 10 minutes. We are now 60 degrees north and it has been chilly wine we left Barra. Full layers last night and it didn’t go dark at all. Lerwicks great, lots of birds, but pretty cold. Got in only one hour behind Modi so we are back in contention and Alice’s Mirror was four hours behind.