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Date: 24 Dec 2006 16:58:56
Title: Day six - sunshine!

Well today brought the first bright weather since leaving Las Palmas; it's been pretty overcast and dull and while not exactly cold at around 20 degrees we've been missing the sun, but today all is well. The sun's out, it's a bit warmer, the wind's dropped and so has the sea, and we were visited twice by dolphins. Can't be bad.
 
After the last few days of strong winds it seems to have settled down to around 10-15kts from the north east, which is probably slightly less than ideal but better than too much!
 
We've had to play around with the sails a bit to get the optimum setup, bearing in mind we're going pretty much dead downwind. For the last few days we were using just the genoa on a barber hauler but as the wind dropped we were unable to keep the sail filled. So we tried goosewinging (mainsail set on one side, genoa the other) but again there's not enough wind to keep the sails filled and the swell is still enough to make it difficult to head absolutely dead downwind so the mainsail kept backing (we had a gybe preventer on). We've just dropped the other sails and set the gennaker which is working reasonably well at the moment but I get the feeling we'll be dropping that before dark and potentially having to motor for a bit. We'll see.
 
We've had two pods of dolphins drop by, possibly the same pod twice (we didn't get any names), who as usual cheer us up no end with their cavorting about around the boat, darting between the hulls and underneath and leaping through the air. Bloody show-offs, they're so fast it makes it very difficult to get a good picture but here's a bad one anyway:
 
 
Not much else to report other than we're a bit worried about Christmas what with our not having a chimney; Tracy tells me that Santa is cleverer than that and all will be well but true to form I'm a bit sceptical.

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