Posted by: Helena Smalman-Smith | December 31, 2011

Day 27 – Going West

A few months back, someone, we forget who, pointed out that one of the particular challenges associated with an ocean passage compared with a coastal one, or even a journey on land, is that you have no visible landmarks to judge your progress by. Sure, we have the number on the GPS, but it’s not the same as looking back and saying “we’ve come all the way from over THERE!”

However, our new friend Ian, who lives on his yacht Summerhill Lady in Marina La Gomera, and has sailed her across the Atlantic on this route, pointed out that this is not actually so, because there IS a visible sign that we are moving round the earth and that is that the sun rises later and sets later every day. Nice point. It is now appearing (often from behind a curtain of cloud that tends to sit on the horizon in the mornings) at about 8.45am GMT whereas it was more like 7.30am in Gomera.

Mel and Lydia have both asked what we’re doing about time zones – the short answer is nothing at all! Gomera used GMT so our clocks are all still on that – and it’s not out enough yet to be worth doing anything about. We suppose we could move them back an hour every 15 degrees, but there doesn’t seem much point and this way we’re clearer about what time it is back in the UK!

Mel – could you check what the time difference from GMT is in Barbados, though, please?

Today’s highlight has been the New Year’s Eve meal packed for us by Janet and Vicky from City of Sheffield RC – the beetroot chutney was an absolute inspiration, though we’re keeping the bubbly for some rather calmer conditions!

Progress has been poor again today, and will remain so till later this week – we have some rudder issues which need much calmer weather to resolve properly. We can do DIY, but doing so on a trampoline is rather more of a challenge, and if you drop bits out here, it’s more annoying than if you have to climb down the stepladder to get them back!

Many thanks for all the messages. Rod – what’s all this I hear about your training tapering off…

Geraint, your Flying Fishcakes recipe sounds disgusting and we haven’t got any instant potato or a frying pan so can’t make it anyway, but thanks for the thought!

Catriona – glad you like the helicopter – looking forward to seeing your flying videos in due course!

Chris Harris – you’re on for the Vets Head. You know my fee.

Baz – there’s no point in me saying “have a great ski holiday” as I know you will!

Sarah Clarke – great to hear from you, and also Michael R, Tonbridge and Judy (in Oz?) AND a big thanks to Jools (from Monmouth) for the poem (blush)!


  1. Happy new year Richard and Helena! It’s 1.25 am (GMT) on New Year’s Day. Bet you didn’t see any fireworks in the Atlantic!
    Hope you get the rudder problem resolved soon. More tomorrow (today?) Keep going DIDI!
    Cook family

  2. Barbados is 4 hours behind UK during winter. Tom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: