Thu 6 Dec 2007 12:45
as the song goes, "what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours...."
from our lovely supper prepared by mark and lisa - chicken curry - and music on deck and a lovely sunset and the start of our shift system - mark and becky 8-12, dave and I 12-4 and bob and lisa 4-8, it all changed very quickly.  we couldn't sleep anyway because of the squall that came through about 9ish but by 10 bob got up to help mark put another reef in and then a big wave hit the starboard side and because of the heat, the galley and girls' cabin hatches were open.  dave was lying on the couch and was rudely awakened by the wave on his head and the girls' beds got a bit wet, becky's more so, but they are ok again now.  dave then joined the boys on deck, becky came down about 11.20 and we were told to stay down.  we had gale force 8, winds gusting up to 44 knots and a record speed when not surfing down a wave, but on the flat, of 11.2 knots.  higher winds had been forecast but not this high.  i was woken at 2am, bob came down and i joined dave on deck.  about an hour later it all started again.   mark came up and we were surrounded by black clouds and had high winds as before.  when we were in the eye of the storm and it was calmer, the boys put a 3rd reef in and then we just had to sit it out.  lisa came up several times as it was so hot below and obviously so bumpy, but took over about 5am when i went to bed.  bob wasn't needed as dave was still fine - god knows how - he'd been up since 10pm and the wet wave.  anyway bob and becky took back over at 7.30am and the rest of us finished our fitful, uncomfortable sleeps and then awoke to ........... more rain, white skies and winds gusting up to 30 knots still.  just like sailing in north wales!!  so basically dave, bob and becky were on deck - see photo - all soaking wet.  becky is down with us now and we are all just hoping this will pass soon.  we were not expecting rain and clouds in the day time.  on a positive note, the temperature has gone down slightly.  whatever fun we have been having, last night was a reminder that this is not a game and we are crossing an ocean, a mass of unpredictable water.  forecast is for winds to lessen after today so hopefully we will be back on our sunny track tomorrow.  we have now crossed 1,500 miles mark and have approx. 1,100 to go.  one plus point about the winds and storms is obvioiusly the good speed.  hopefully this will now be the start of our last week.
to top it all last night, lisa and becky had a large water container burst in their cabin on the floor, so at least the fresh water washed off the salt water!!  that's enough for today.  all is under control, boat is holding up fine, there is no reason to worry, we are all just a bit tired, but we are all still upbeat and having a laugh in between.  easy food from the freezer i think tonight.
just to cheer everyone up, i am also enclosing a picture of the near miss glamour model, obviously feeling a bit morose about her missed chance of a lifetime, but i have heard in the meantime that she has been signed up by john frieda, so all's well that ends well - will send under separate cover. from a wet and windy spot 18.36N and 42.30W in the atlantic signing off jan xx

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