1704 miles to go

Alia Vita
Rob & Frances Lythgoe
Fri 21 Nov 2014 15:47
16:43.50N  31:41.84W
We had a fantastic days sailing yesterday.  After a bad start to the rally Alia Vita hit her sweet spot and we stormed through the fleet. At 8am this morning we think we were 5th overall, by 12:00 we had lost 8 to miles on everyone in just 4 hours and were down to 8th.  The wind dropped and shifted behind us early this morning so all the yachts in contention put up their spinnakers except us and 8 miles in 3 hours was the price.  The wind has picked up again and we are back on track but with a lot of catching up to do as the faster yachts have moved away from us.  Long way to go yet.
Lunch today was made more interesting by a scramble for the winches as a small squall came through mid way through lunch. A squall is a very brief period of much stronger wind and rain which means we need to reduce sail area before it hits, and bring the washing in!  We did this but in the event it wasn’t as strong as we thought it might be, and that’s the problem with them, they are very difficult to predict.
The mornings new duty is to tour the deck and pick off the flying fish that have landed during the night. They are about 6 inches long and smelly, slippery little B*****s, but fortunately by the time we get to them they are well and truly dead, and often dried out so easy to throw overboard. Removing the scales they leave behind  as they ‘fly’ around the deck is another matter.
1700 miles to go means that Frances and I are about half way to the Caribbean from when we left the Med at Gibraltar, and we still anticipate getting there by the 1st December.  The sea state has been a bit unpleasant but all crew have coped well apart from the Skipper who is still looking for his sea legs. The waves are on the beam which makes life rather rolly, but the sun is out and the temperature is very pleasant. All the crew are well and we haven’t run out of any provisions yet, but chocolate bars are starting to look thin on the ground. I have a suspicion that secret stashes are being squirreled away in  places.