HELLO from 45.00N 20.46W

Rick, Helen, Sue, John
Wed 27 Aug 2014 10:59
We’re now on our 5th day at sea and we certainly have been having it BIG out here. It’s as if the weather god in charge of wind has set the lever at F7-F8 and gone off for a long lunch. The corollary to that is of course that the sea has lumped up somewhat and we’re climbing over some pretty decent size swells so our whole world is rolling and pitching a good deal.
on Monday S + H spotted a whale! About 50 yards from the boat. From what they saw it was about the same size as us (that is to say the same size as the boat – not the crew). And, entirely sensibly, was heading south as Autumn approaches.
As a rule we see very little life out here. Although the oceans are often described as “teeming with life” the fact is they’re very large oceans so the teeming lives get spread out a bit. Also of course, one has to discount all the teeming that goes on below the surface. One thing we see every day are a pair of Cory Shearwaters who seem to be following us north (damn fools). They’re roughly the size of a gull but with brown top sides and white unders. They buzz about the whole day, wing tips almost brushing the wave crests and never flap as they use the lift created by the wind o’er the turbulent sea. Cook called them ‘mother cary’s chickens’ but who mother cary was and indeed why they are referred to as her chickens i know not.
by now our daily round has formed a structure – our night watches run 2200-0000; 0000-0200; 0200-0400; 0400-until somebody else wakes up! we rotate the watches each night so that noone gets stuck with the 2-4am.  with the wind essentially behind us, the boat is free to do it’s rolling thing and this does lead to disturbed sleep. Every pot, pan cup glass tool and thingy knocks, chinks or thuds into its neighbour. As we roll along, therefore, we create the sort of effect you’d get if you put the stock of a hardware store into a tumble drier and set it to ‘slow spin’.
We are getting along, but there is a complex weather system ahead of us, so for the next 24 hours we’ll just potter east and let the thing ride by. Otherwise it’s the usual north atlantic stuff – grey and rainy.
love the crew
yesterday afternoon (tuesday) we ran smack into this system so have just spent a long night under genoa alone, rolling ourselves stupid. Just touched F9 at one point.  Now – Wednesday- we’re back in the sun, but still have 25 knots true wind so we’re bowling along under fully reefed main and about 3/4 genoa but at least (for now) we’re on the rhumb line for the lizard.