Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Day 16 - the Yeo Valley Big Pot's flying proudly

Our position as at 22.00 GMT, Sunday 26th May:
08 degrees 49 minutes south, 128 degrees 32 minutes west
Distance run in last 24 hours: 156nm
Regular readers will know that our fantastic Parasailor spinnaker carries a very large Yeo Valley Family Farms logo on its front. The secret of good marketing is to create a very vivid message and broadcast it to as many relevant people as you can. Out here the 'blue monster', as Peter described the sail yesterday as crept up on Stormvogel yesterday, certainly presents a very vivid image but unfortunately the audience is rather limited.
Anyway we have now been flying the Parasailor (known as the Big Pot on board) for more than 28 hours and had a really good night's progress in spite of the slowly diminishing breeze. When we decided to keep it hoisted through the night we realised that this would probably mean us parting company from Stormvogel after all this time together but both skippers agreed that it made absolute sense for each boat to make as much speed as possible before the wind died. Sure enough, Stormvogel's navigation light slowly disappeared into the bright moonlit night as they took a slightly more northerly route; we hadn't considered their determination, though. Peter hoisted all his white sails, goose-winged  and switched to his electronic autopilot which followed a much more accurate course than the wind vane so this morning our wakes crossed again with the boats less than a mile apart; the Biscay / Atlantic / Panama / Pacific Alliance continues!
The wind has swung round to the north east so is currently taking us somewhere south of the Marquesas at the moment but we are concentrating on keeping the best boat speed in roughly the right direction. The weather files predict only 6 knots of wind from tomorrow for a couple of days so we'll re-evaluate our course then (we'll probably have to motor sail a bit until the waves die down as they'll just shake the wind from our sails). At least the forecast is a bit more optimistic (it was predicting a flat calm before) and we have around 600 miles to go; the fishing line is about to be deployed so we're hoping that our luck will hold.

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