How many layers do the Peeps wear to keep warm? The answer (dear reader) is blowing in the wind...........

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Tue 8 Jul 2014 12:01
N37:07:445    W09:27:235
Layers and layers is the answer. We have been wearing 5 top layers and 4 on the bottom including undies and our salopettes add another half to the top too. Getting dressed and undressed especially for ablutions is quite a lengthy process. The winds have been mostly from the north and cold so we haven't even been divesting ourselves of any layers during the daylight hours either. As for our heads, well we have our buffs, then a hat, then the hood on our jackets and even a hoodie hood on occasion. Got to keep those drafts out of our ears. Our feet however are coping with one pair of socks and in Susan's case a hot water bottle sometimes.
Yesterday afternoon we thought for a time that we had been transported to Piccadilly Circus. In the space of about 90 minutes we saw 7 different vessels around us - heading South. West and North with a lone yacht going west. We tried to hail them as we passed each other but no answer was the stern reply. There was nothing else then till just after 11 last night when a huge ship crossed our stern at a distance of about 3.5 nautical miles. In the last couple of hours though we have seen 3 huge container vessels and oil tankers crossing our stern and heading south - maybe they will turn into the Med.
The wind that Andrew said was due - well it arrived and then some. We had reeffed right down anyway but continue to belt along in the lumpy seas.  We put the engine on and had Orion take the helm to give us some relief too and it meant that whoever was on watch could stay under the sprayhood for a while and judging by the number of hissing sids dumping loads of water towards and into the cockpit, this was a very good idea!
We have made very good if bouncy progress and have not much over 20 miles to go to our wayppoint off Cabo St. Vincente which we will give a wide berth to if these conditions persist.  The forecast is for it to calm down during the next few hours but then the forecast was for gusts up to 24knts max but we have seen many over 30kts. We have broken our daily run record though with 161 boat miles midnight to midnight and 146.3 over the ground for the same period.
No dolphins or whales to report though we keep getting that mysterious depth reading of anyting between 3.4 to 20 metres so maybe they have been swimmming underneath us, or something else, we probably don't want to know really. Shearwaters are still with us though.
10am this morning we heard voices on the radio again for the first time, civilisation approaches.
More in due course..........
Andrew & Susan
S/V Andromeda of Plymouth
Approaching the coast of Portugal