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Date: 31 Jan 2013 18:35:41
Title: Position 16:52.7N 040:18.5W

Thursday 31st Jan 2013
Log 4254
Noon to Noon 113nm (Ow!)
GPS to BVI 1391

Hi all,

Not much to report today. The night was quiet and uneventful with very light breeze only. No back clouds, no squalls and no calls to arms during any watch.

The day dawned around 0900UT and promised to be a hot one and so it has proved to be. Suddenly the chocolate has melted as well as the butter but all the wind has gone. Our best efforts to avoid this hole have been thwarted by the wretched gremlin who clearly now has made a pact with Neptune. Grib files suggest this hole is moving west at close to our own speed and its frustrating to note only 300 miles ahead of us, there may be 20 knots of wind! We came quite south hoping to avoid this situation but after trying every sail combination possible on this boat during the morning, (an no wraps today either) our speed dropped to under 2 knots after lunch and we gave up and started the diesel for the first artificial push forward since leaving Tenerife. We are using it at a tickle speed of just 1200 rpm which provides adequate battery charging and around 4 knots boat speed and is as economical as we can be. Ironic as the sun was making the solar panels work very well today and we may have made the night through without need of engine charging of batteries. This situation was expected so we will continue to motor gently westwards until we find some wind. With limited quantities of diesel onboard we must be careful of preserving fuel for the rest of the trip also.

The ocean has finally provided the large rolling swell associated with the trade winds and hitherto notable by an abscence. However, strangly the swells are coming from the north, not the east so I guess there has been a disturbance up north to generate them.

Engine checks today showed not a drop of water or oil used so far and the belts etc are tight and in good order. Boat systems continue to be working well.

Mike made superb ham and cheese omellettes for brunch today and is now hard at work in the galley with our last fresh meat, pork medallions and a sauce of his own creation.

Conversation has been wide and varied as may be imagined and plenty of mickey taking is going on out here. Adrian still cannot find a fish despite outside tips arriving regularly via sms and email. At least we have tuna in a can as a consolation prize.

For those who like deadlining it, I remind you that UK tax returns are due by midnight tonight, although big brother Iain has no issues this year as he started unusually early with his (the day before yesterday!).

I hear Alex Thompson came home third in the VG race and well done to him for that acheivement (and for actually finishing a VG without breaking the boat!).

Good wishes to my granddaughter Andie, down in Poole and suffering with bronchitus poor little mite!
Bravo Zulu to son in law Paul up in Scotland for qualification to be selected as a school headmaster - Paul came with me double handed on my last crossing and has been watching progress with envy I think.

Plenty of flying fish seen but none hitching a lift. One question however: where do the birds we see every day, sleep??

Best from us all.

The Mariposa Blanca delivery team

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