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Date: 27 Dec 2006 16:14:41
Title: Day nine - blue seas and sunshine

Noon position 19:09.8N 28:16.0W
Day's run a still disappointing 118nm.
And a very good day to you all. It must be getting warmer as we've seen lots of flying fish today - they take flight as we aproach, presumably thinking we're an enormous predator (which to an extent I am but Tracy might take exception). They're incredibly graceful as they leap out of the water with their little wings flapping so fast they look like they're whirring, and skim across the surface of the water for a surprising distance - maybe 50 metres or more in some cases - and just when you think they've done enough to earn at least a 9.5 from the judges they cock it all up by splashing back into the water like a fat bloke doing a belly flop. The re-entry definitely needs work.
It was a lovely evening yesterday, so despite having sausages in the pan sizzlng nicely I decided in my wisdom to take a seat on the back of the boat and do a spot of fishing. Within no more than five minutes of the killer pink squidy lure hitting the water we had another dorado on board. Now, chaps, you know that look of undisguised disdain you get from a woman when you've done something not-too-clever? Well imagine the power of that look when said woman is holding the struggling fish down for you to clump it on the noggin and thereby put it gently to sleep, which you duly do but in so doing splatter fish blood all over her top half / face / dress etc, not too mention the back of the boat. Scary, that's what it was. Like the flying fish, the final moments of our fishing technique need a bit of polish.
Mind you, it tasted pretty good for lunch today so it wasn't a complete disaster. The wind was a reasonably constant force 3-ish overnight so we didn't make any great speed with just the genoa, but at 0830 we hoisted the gennaker again and off we went. The wind came up a bit and we were making in excess of 7.5 knots for a time, touching 9 knots once, when we decided that we'd better drop that sail as the wind was just a little bit too much for it so since 1300 we've been back on the genoa and slowed right down again. It's difficult to find a balance between going too slowly and going too fast - too fast is fine but it's uncomfortable and puts greater stresses on everything, and we really don't want to break anything important out here. The gennaker in particular is a very light sail and therefore tears easily, so discretion is the better part of valour we feel. Shame really, because with the gennaker we're faster than most of the other boats in our little fleet, but with the genoa we're slower. Never mind, best to get there in one piece!

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