Well things are hotting up on Grey Power - well at least when contrasted with this morning's blog! And yes it is not the temperature but it is related. We have now entered a South West to South South West wind of force 5 to 6 propelling Grey Power at speeds of 15.6 knots average in the last 6 hours and peaks well in excess of 20 knots.Of course this has come a bit late to materially effect our final position in the race, but the skipper likes to sprint at the finish.
Dilip in particular has been enjoying his time on the helm comparing it to the type of driving one would expect from a Bombay taxi driver - let me be clear here - this is not a compliment to the quality of Bombay's taxi drivers according to our skipper who when watching Dilip's skills said "He is driving like a Sikh" only to go on and say that Sikh taxi drivers in Bombay were the sole cause of his prematurely grey hair!
For the last 8 hours, life has been a mixture of living in a washing machine, a submarine and a Bombay taxi going from full steam ahead (at the start of the surf) to slamming on the breaks hard (as we plough into the next wave).
A serious crisis occurred this morning when we accidentally filled the cockpit up with water (not unusual in itself and nothing to worry about) but we also filled the pot of freeze dried coffee which was being used to prepare the next cuppa. Needless to say, it turned into a thick black salty goo! Luckily we have another pot of freeze dried coffee so we will survive our final day(s) at sea. The fact that the Chief Steward was on the helm at the time could be put down to his over enthusiasm to re-stock everything.
In the meantime, our revered ex Commodore of the Royal Coastal Racing Club is like a coiled spring - horizontal on his bunk in deep meditation which we hope will culminated in him bringing his 60 years plus of coastal racing experience to good use when we start the short sprint back to Cowes which is a separate race. Having seen first hand his preparation for tomorrow, the team is full of confidence that this will be a fast race ensuring their return ashore prior to closing time (well maybe in a night club!).
For those or you seeking chapter 2 of "Fifty Shades of Grey Power", we are going to disappoint you. Our resident novelist has...
What! I hear you cry. Where's Chapter 2?
To be honest by the time we had written it we realised we all had probably been at sea for far too long and deleted it. No point in getting arrested when we get to Cowes for the sake of a cracking story when the party is getting closer by the hour. We see Rambler and Comanche have finally got their pedal to the metal and have at last woken up to the fact that there is only a limited amount of beer and late arrivals go thirsty!
So, to Chapter 3
Having discussed the ropes with you all and then spent the last few hours talking about other virile parts of boats for inclusion into chapter 2 we are now going safely on to the topic of appendages. Brad Dellenbaugh knows all about appendages and their latent ability to store huge amounts of power as he had a few quiet chats with one past Commodore of the RCRC before the race and as we all know RRS 52 shall NOT apply and we then refer to IRC rules 15.2 and 22.3. To those land lubbers and sailors alike who never read the rules hard luck. You missed a lively discussion!
Now question one. How many appendages does a potent machine like Grey Power have to get excited about?
Question two. How many of the said appendages, excluding those of the crew, can you move around?
Question three. How many go in and out?
Question four. How many swing?
Question five. How many just wiggle from side to side?
Before you all go of on one and forget we are talking about a highly potent racing yacht here can I ask you all to send in your answers by email by return and the first three winners pulled out of a winch handle pocket at 12:00 GMT tomorrow will receive a signed photo of the GP team in crew kit (after having had a shower unless you state otherwise when we can pose in oilskins and other revolting clothes should you wish)
So having learnt that we have appendages. You will have noticed I resisted saying how many!. That they possibly move around a bit we will now go on to the important topic of what the many options there are for their use!
In and Out variety; well all pretty normal here. nothing to write up about that you probably don't already know. Not all craft have them. Little ones tend to use them a lot more than bigger ones as it happens. This is probably where most of us started out in our sailing life. A quick launch off from the beach, slip in the centreboard and off for a day's pure innocent enjoyment.
Swingers. A relatively modern invention but it works best when you are sailing off the wind and has an amazing ability to keep you upright when all those around you are falling by the wayside. A sort of sailing Viagra I suppose? While we are on the subject of that uplifting little blue pill it was rumoured that the RORC were in discussions with Pffer the manufacturers to sponsor the Fastnet race but due to the unwelcome intervention of an inflated member of the main board, who said it put them between a rock and a hard place, the deal slipped through their fingers. Well at least the flag officers of RORC were trying to aim high. Who's next I wonder?
Wigglers. Hmm, not sure quite what to say about these appendages. Without them you are definitely out of control. No direction, no focus no nuffin! We all need them and some of us have one and some of us have more than one! Utterly amazing!
Apart from those appendages that go down the way, every yacht needs at least one that goes up the way. Your mast. Now some of you who will have seen the pictures of GP will notice that she is not your conventional looking yacht with one, two or possibly even three masts. Normally they point heavenwards when a yacht is at rest. No, not Grey Power! she has the usual one that points up the way and two more each one sticking out at 45 deg to either side. I personally think it is just a clever ploy to unsettle the opposition and make them think there is more to the ship than meets the eye. Well when you're getting on in years you do need all the help you can get! Just ask old Sir Shaggy Beard next time you have the pleasure! He probably won't remember a thing but try catching him before the fifth rum and you might be lucky!
Well that's all we think can tell you about appendages. So until chapter 4 tomorrow! Suggestions on a postcard etc. etc.