Today we had our skipper’s briefing

Today we had our skipper’s briefing.

All the skippers and the skippers mates crowded into one of the seminar rooms at Hotel Santa Catalina.

There was buzz going through the room as we awaited our final set of instructions for tomorrow departure. First off we were briefed on how the start of the race was to proceed, detailing starting lines and do’s and dont’s. The scene was reminiscent of the scene from Top Gun, though the crowd consisted of mostly old grey haired silver surfers, and of course me and Oliver (the Tom Cruise’s of the crowd).

Chris Tibbs then came on stage to give us our weather report for the next 5 days. I have never heard such a detailed weather forecast in all my life. He gave us a detailed account of where the highs and lows were occurring. Unfortunately there was a low depression hovering over, which would result in 30-35 knots of wind for the first two days, on the nose. Basically there would be a 6m swell, and with the wind on the nose, we would have a very uncomfortable ride. Chris also pointed out that there was likely to be a rough spot en route to St Lucia that the racing boats might like to make use of, but perhaps the cruising division might prefer to avoid by heading further south before crossing over. Oliver gave a happy nod to this news, as it corresponded with his preferred route, so that was very reassuring.

After the weather briefing, the next bit of news came that the ARC organsiser took the decision to delay the start until Tuesday due to the poor weather conditions. This piece of news was received with an erruption of applause. Though myself and Oliver didn’t welcome the news, as being the smallest boat, we didn’t wish for any delays. The talking between skippers lasted throughout the rest of the talk.

With that bombshell, a decision had to be made quickly. We both knew Troskala was up for the challenge, but an unanimous decision was made that we should wait until Tuesday. The last thing we wanted to do was damage either boat or crew.

To add to our woes, the local supermarket,  El Corte Inglés delivered our meat unfrozen. The meat was supposed to have been deep frozen at -25c. So we had to return the meat, and arranged to pick it up on Monday.

There were also issues with the Satellite phone, which will prevent us from receiving weather updates using our grib software zygrib. Oliver’s dad will now send us daily weather reports via email or text, along with the ARC’s daily weather reports.

With all this extra hassle, it’s probably a good thing we now don’t need to depart until Tuesday. The next few days should be a little bit more relaxing.

Author: Tim Butler

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