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Date: 14 Jan 2013 13:51:23
Title: Position 31:38N 14:07.5W

The Night to Forget.
Monday 1330 UT
Log 2435
Distance to run approx 250nm
ETA WEd early am

The night started with a superb supper of chicken curry made by Adrian in pretty rotten conditions. Enjoyed by all but he used the last gas and changing the bottle involves a hazardous trip to the gas locker on the bathing platform, holding on with both hands to avoid being tossed into the sea and then using your other 2 hands to hold the gas connector whilst unscrewing the bottle by rotating the bottle (ie the hard way and I wonder which lovely person designed this idea!!). Having done the easy it, you thne have the task of fitting the new bottle which is also heavier of course and rotating it to engage the thread, still whilst holding on of course. As Adrian used the last gas, we thught it only fair he volunteered to change the bottle but in fairness, it was a 3 man task with 2 harness lines in vovled and not before we had tacked and hove to to try and steady the boat.

Mission accomplished just before sunset. As the night progressed, the wind rose to over 30 knots at times and we reduced sail to near storm tactic proportions to slow the boat down and limit her wild rolls down some of the larger waves. Nobody slept much although the Skipper had near success for an hour culred up in a near foetal position on the floor of the passage to the aft cabin. At least I could not be moved but its only about 5ft long so I rose with stiff joints.

Taking 2 hour watches each, we passed the night hearing the hiss and growl of the bigger breaking waves creeping up from astern. No moon and pitch black all night. One ship sighted around 0430 was on ly moving south at 7 knots and took ages to pass us by.

Grib files have indicated a veer to the wind sometime Tuesday. The strategy has been to head WSW yesterday and overnight, before gybing to port tack and aiming due S for now, and being able to bear away towards Tenerife with the veer tomorrow. We gybed without incident around 1000 and soon after some sun appeared. When not using the autopilot, we have seen a positive charge rate from the solar panels for the first time, which bodes well for later in the trip.

Still got steady F6-7 from ENE, with gusts over 30 knots but although it remains a very uncomfortable ride (and hard to type), morale is good despite the aching middle aged bones around here and we are acheiving a steady 6 - 7 knots in ful control on course made good of 200 degrees. The N end of Tenerife is just 207 miles now.

Hope Heather is now accessing the blogs?

More tomorrow with luck in lighter breezes.

The Mariposa Blanca delivery team

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