�� We didn�t
sleep on our next off watches either so it was handy in a way I was kept busy
dodging tankers on my next watch. Day dawned to reveal cloudy skies and haze
ahead. The thought of spotting Spain
today lifted our spirits as we tried to catch up on sleep rolling and bouncing
along. Although things have been rough and blowy at least we�re moving along
quickly and the direction of the wind has been good. With the mainsail thrashing
about things could have been much worse.
�� I was
desperately tired today and Si looked somewhat fatigued too. Late morning
conditions calmed a little though and he was able to rest below for some time.
With Span approaching fast I played my Spanish course on the iPod.
Unfortunately I�d forgotten all I learned earlier in the year.
�� By the
time Si woke it was mid afternoon so we decided tea and cake was in order as
we�d missed lunch. Then with a wind shift we hoisted the mainsail for the first
time in Biscay. The wind immediately picked up and although we were double
reefed the helm was heavy. Dolphins playing chase with Brindabella were a great
distraction while we contemplated a third reef, then the winds eased to a
comfortable F7. We had showers.
calculated we�d see land around dinner time so planned Spanish omelettes for
dinner. We ate them with eyes searching through the mist with land only 12
miles away. A fog warning came in.
�� I went to
bed half dressed in preparation for �all hands on deck�. The whistling winds
ceased and above me elephants were tap dancing in lead boots. Well that�s what
Simon playing boats in a bad mood sounds like! He was busy adjusting sails as
the wind died but the waves continued to disturb the sails. I wasn�t sleeping
anyway so went up to help. The world was disappearing into fog. We started the
engine, dropped the sails and plodded on slowly as I tried to sleep again. Si
called me not long after to don my lifejacket. I went on deck to help keep a
lookout. The AIS has been wonderful for picking up shipping but many fishing
vessels and smaller boats don�t have it installed so would be our greatest
risk. With calming seas we inched blindly forwards.
�� Our watch
system had gone to pot now and we were both very tired. Si suggested I had an
hour�s rest while the visibility had improved a little then we�d swap. I was
out like a light and must have slept so deeply I felt very dizzy and
disorientated when I staggered back on deck an hour later. We were both clipped
our diminished world we were then privileged to witness a wonderful sight.
Phosphorescence was sparkling from the bow waves like fountains and a huge pod
of dolphins had arrived like torpedoes out of the mist with elongated tails of
phosphorescence trailing behind them. They would dart under the boat then
zig-zag out the other side leaving sparkling snakes behind them. Apart from
entertaining us of course, their reason for being there was obvious when supper
appeared. The sea was brought alive with shoals of glittering fish shooting in
all directions and flying out of the water like silver darts straight into the
mouths of airborne dolphins. It was difficult to concentrate on keeping a
lookout with such a spectacle all around us.��������� ---Lini---