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Date: 30 Jan 2013 17:49:49
Title: Position 17:53N 038:52W

Wed 30th Jan Day 12

Log 4144
Noon to noon 115 (awful)
GPS to go 1466nm

The gremlin has stayed hidden today and even Ade's laptop is working.

A quiet overnight except for one "general alarm" around 0100. We have an installed alarm system consisting of a cheap bike horn attached to the binnacle. Being single on watch and often hand steering, we needed a means of calling all hands in emergency. 1 bleep is a signl to come up and look due to the presence of say, whales, dolphins, racing rowing boats or mermaids. 3 bleeps however is a more serious call for help and Adrian felt the need due to a sudden increase in wind strength while we had 2 headsails set, one of which was poled out. Mike lept into action from his slumbers, still dressed in underwear and then called Andy who had slept through the alarm! Both were soon on deck sorting out the boat and then Adrian decided the wind was dying again! Still it was good practice for all and proved the alarm system.

The day dawned at 0830UT with a clear blue sky to the north and a uniform grey sky to the south. Andy headed for the grey sky as he was quite concerned that Mike needed a day out of the sun and because he hoped for more wind under the clouds. We have thus spent the entire day chasing the wind, always just under the shade of the clouds and always with the clear blue just north of us. We have tried most sail combinations today and have seen winds light but from directions SW to NE (through S). Right now we are moving reasonably again at over 5 knots and heading on a course of 240T, still aiming to head south to try and avoid the worst of the forthcoming calms, due in a couple of days time.

Gas was changed during night with what is now a well rehearsed routine and undertaken in benign conditions. This has added some pressure to our sailing because the rate of gas use could mean drinking water only for the final part of the trip!!! As we have plenty of coffee, that is akin to having a cigarette but no matches.

Some excitement before lunch when Andy sighted a yacht's sails in the distance and ahead of us. The crew did not believe me for some time but eventually they too saw it. We called on the VHF and learned this was a 16m yacht out of the Canaries also and heading from Antigua. There were US registered and the girl on the VHF had a good southern drawl. It immediately became a challeng here to try and catch this larger yacht but during sail chnages, her location was lost and we have not had a visual sighting again today. The radar showed them originally 6 miles ahead of us and later 9 miles, on much the same course. We did stop for some time this morning to lower the genoa and undertake repairs to the failed UV strip. Said repairs are holding good so far.

We also heard on the VHF, 2 motor vessels in communication with each other on ch 16 but missed their exchange on Ch 6 because Mike was asleep in the saloon and the radio speaker cannot be turned off in there even though there is a cockpit speaker. For Peter, you may wish to have mods carried out to control this point!

The sea temp has reached 27.5 degrees and was good enough for a cockpit bucket bath this afternoon, most welcome! As I type, the blue bit in the sky has arrived and although it has been pleasently warm even though grey today, the team have started muttering about sundowners in their enlightened morale state. I am being told to hurry up with the blog and get up to the cockpit, so I had better go.

The Mariposa Blanca Delivery Team.

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