Aphrodite continues to plug away toward the Lizard under her trysail in 20 kts true wind on a reach moving along at 6 knots. We are trying to track a thin line of wind and avoid a developing high/no wind situation to the east. We will see how that works out. We are 339 miles from the Lizard and depending on the wind conditions, looking to finish on Thursday then head to Cowes. Not sure if we will do the coastal race and much depends on the winds.
Last night was an exciting ride with 27-32 kt winds on a reach with the now familiar significant phosphoresence with every wave. We were often averaging 9+ kts over 30 minute periods, which is our usual handoff for steering in those conditions. We flew our blue 3/4 oz chute for some of the day yesterday, making good time with it and dousing it when the wind piped up to 25. It is our only 3/4 oz kite left and we are saving it for the final days when it is likely to be needed with the anticipated light winds. We have had difficulty lining up a boatyard to do some work on the boat on arrival so we might be our own boatyard fixing those things we can.
Chef Bruce did another masterful job on dinner with rib steaks, mashed potatoes and peas. Bless those carbs and calories to get through each day out in the weather and the cockpit! We are pulling out the paper charts to get a good look at the Solent and approach through the Needles which will probably happen on Thursday night.
The boat has performed well but with various challenges, as I am sure everyone has experienced, but the worst has been being undercanvassed by a large margin. Our #2, which Sheila and Sam spent days trying to repair, is in the final convulsive throes of delamination, with large gaping holes held together by tendrils of kevlar.
It is a wonder it stays together; we expected it would have experienced its final moments last night with pieces of mylar flying off into the sea. Everyone is clearly fatigued and Stacey and Gino were singing Christmas carols in the cockpit this morning; a clear indication that some of our wheels have come off the wagon! Signing off now and looking to gut it out through the anticipated light airs over the next two days.
Chris aboard Aphrodite