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Date: 22 Aug 2010 19:11:00
Title: Day 4

After a day of being stuck on the Dart, on account of foul weather, we slipped mooring at 09:15 and headed for a diesel/petrol (for outboard) refill.  Heavy seas to Poole forced us to rev above normal levels and so we used 33 litres vs expected use of 2 litres/hour.  
We left Dartmouth at 9:45 headed to Plymouth which we reached at 18:30 and some 49nm (nautical miles) later.  Good winds 25-20knts gave us plenty of sailing touching 10+knts through the water.  10 ft high seas, rain and occasionally v poor visibility (100m) meant that some enjoyed the passage more that others.  Your humble author fell into the latter camp aided by the unwise decision to finish Rob's spag bol from the prior night for b/fast.  
One little strategy emerged in the day.  Helming has the merit of offering something to hang onto and if one happens to be anxious to be next on the helm then a little ploy is to bag the cockpit seat which you think the skipper wants.  This usually gets you an early crack at the helm, if you choose wisely.
Events showed that King Neptune remained curious about 1000knights' inner goings on for a second day.  He duly dispatched his messengers through the forehatch ignoring all our efforts to bar entry with the result that we now live in two cabins.  A new hatch will be fitted in falmouth and in an incredible act of generosity Lawrence has offered to collect the darned thing in soton and drive it all the way to falmouth.  Good on you mate.  Hopefully we won't need to take you up.
Another consequence beloved reader is that I now share the luxury of the aft cabin with our deeply revered skipper.  I experienced three little surprises.  First I was sleeping next to a baseball pitcher who grabbed, kicked and generally clobbered me thru the night.  Skip also serenades his sleeping partner and like a pack of dogs when one starts the whole darned lot go off, so he was shortly joined by rob in the main cabin and unlike the BBC you can't turn skip off.  My final little surprise was that having given up playing monopoly with skip many years back, following a non stop losing streak, I discovered that he still manages to acquire all the real estate even at night.    
But I digress, we heard one mayday and one pan pan during our passage.  The former came from a 48 ft yacht when the brand new owner ran into engine trouble.  It may not have occurred to him to sail out of trouble but the consequence was that a fishing vessel who was suspiciously close at hand towed him in to port.  The laws of salvage being what they are, he may find he now owns a little less of his nice new yacht than he did the day before.   Oh well maybe he was not designed for the sea.
After a fairly tough passage we moored up in a marina and were delighted to shower and shave and eat ashore.  Rob took the opportunity to go party (damn he's made of strong stuff) while the rest of us sloped home.  Now as it happens he may have just wanted to see the back of us.  Earlier in the day it had been decided that Rob would earn the daily 'wally' hat (yes, I know another story coming up here) if at any point in the day he admitted to not knowing the answer to a piece of trivia (not a lot passes that rob doesn't have the answer to and we rather strongly suspect that he knows more than wikipedia).  As it happened rob created a trap of his own making over dinner by remarking on your humble author's occasional relapse into oz slang.  On being advised of our colonial ancestry he rather foolishly mentioned that he didn't know that and the wally hat landed on its intended victim.  Little unfair, but heck boys will be boys.     

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