1200 on May 24th in position 27:46.45N, 77:22.17W

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sun 24 May 2009 17:23
All ok onboard. We are now leaving the Bahamas and the tropics behind us to the south and on a course to reach Charleston South Carolina within 3 days. However, the spanners were out early this morning as an annoying creak from the starboard cap shroud system announced itself , just as Skipper was in discussions with a Jamaica bound cargo ship that seemed intent on splitting us in two on the course it was on. It would have been close (between 200 yds and a direct hit) if he had not changed course 5 degrees. Once clear it was out with the torch to try and track the disconcerting creak of an unhappy rig fitting. It seemed to be coming from the deck fitting on the coachroof so loose inside bolts were diagnosed, as one was actually loose when challenged with a spanner. Once Nikki was up and could hold a spanner the other side of the plate we set about tightening things up. Unfortunately it made no difference and the real reason then became obvious from a trip up on deck - the cap stays themselves (the wires) needed some more tension as the rig has stretched since Lanzarote. 2 turns on each rigging screw and the creak was a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, another problem hit a few hours later when the top swivel fitting on the staysail halyard parted company with the swivel itself and is now occasionally clanking against the mast. If problems come in 3s then what will be next? Nikki's Betty Crocker Chocolate Brownies turning into chocolate blackies or skipper's dorado curry being a culinary disaster tonight? Watch this space.