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Date: 26 Jan 2013 17:20:54
Title: Position 21:16N 030:54.2W

Saturday 26 Jan

Log 3626
Noon to Noon 125
Distance to BVI 1906nm

Afternoon to all,

I understand the blog positions are working again so thanks for the info Heather.

The highjinks of yesterday lost us a few miles on the daily run and we were down to 125 noon to noon but not too bad. Skipper decided we all needed some decent rest last night as everyone was feeling the pinch after several days of pretty boistrous motion. Thus. after studying the latest GRIB files, he ordered another gybe as darkness fell and a reduction in sail, which allowed us to head near due west at a controlled 5+ knots all night and with an easier motion. The GRIBs suggest the wind will veer again to ESE sometime on Sunday, which will signal the time to gybe again and head WSW towards 18 degrees N, the latitude at which the winds should remain moderately strong over the forthcoming week. North of this, the winds may weaken too much for decent speed under sail. Last night the winds did ease to around 18 knots for a few hours and the seas likewise moderated, all helping some better rest for us.

Dawn broke grey and overcast but soon after sunrise at 0830, the skies cleared and winds returned. We have continued near due west all day under varying sail configurations but acheiving consistent speeds around 7 knots which has eaten into the GPS "miles to go" number.

An outbreak of morale induced by the better sleep and bright sunny skies has been noted in the ship's log. Well, we are officially in the "tropics" now. Andy has finally shed his thermals, Adrian says he is thinking of doing so and Mike has been in shorts and a polo shirt all day (he gets cross with me if I say "T" shirt) trying to get his legs tanned before BVI. He scared Adrian this morning by appearing pale white around his face in the cockpit but he was not ill, he had just applied an excessive dose of expensive sunscreen to his face and it wouldn't "rub in". Its been a shave and tidy ourselves up day onboard, preparing for sundowner parade later in the day.

No fish to be caught, no hitchhiking flying fish, no dolphins, whales or record breaking rowers to be seen anywhere. We did pass an orange football a couple of hours ago however.

I just saved the laptop as it bid to escape from the chart table and slid sideways off the forward facing seat, nearly landing in the galley waste compartment. Adrian- please concentrate at helming and leave the fishing line alone!!

Solar panels have started working in earnest today, now that they actually have sight of the sun. All else onboard is functioning correctly and we have started debating whether or not to open a book on arrival date/time. Ade and Mike had a bet between Gibraltar and Tenerife about how much worse the weather may become, without defining how this was to be judged. Not suprisingly, they spent several days arguing about who actually won the bet, so there is now some reluctance to place bids on our ETA until an agreed definition of arrival is reached!

If we arrive too early, families will be thinking "nice holiday they are having"! Various solutions have been suggested but mostly these involved a detour to some other lesser known Caribbean islands to hide out like pirates before serenly entering Tortola Road Town Harbour just at the right time to meet the owner. Mike's request to include Tahiti in this revised itinery has been declined by the skipper as we cannot afford the fees to pass turhg the Panama canal and anyway, Adrian doesn't ever want to visit the Pacific again after his 6000nm upwind Clipper Venture last summer.

Don't worry Peter, Andy has scotched all these suggestions as we may yet end up rowing into Road Town to meet the scheduled flights out!

Heather requested a photo of the skipper on the blog but his camera doesn't work in self portriat mode and we cannot read Mike's camera card on this laptop (we did try honestly).

best from us all.
The Mariposa Blanca delivery team

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