Friday 6th December

Tue 10 Dec 2019 11:45
When I came up on watch the moon was out, first time I have seen it this trip. 12 days in and it appears like a smiley face in the sky leading the way! I am, however, far more interested in the sky behind as that's where our weather is coming from and although there are stars overhead it looks very grey and a little ominous behind me. Although cloud itself is nothing to fear, in fact it often brings an increase in the strength of the wind which can be a welcome lift, there is however a nasty black band which could be a squall. The moon has now become obscured by it's own cloudtaking most of the light out of the sky. It's difficult to tell whether there is rain under the cloud or not. As the wind quickly gusts up to 28 knots I hang on to our courseas we rise and descend the 3-5 m swell in the darkness and our boat speed increases to 10.5 kts...As quickly as it arrived it has passed and the wind returns to a relatively sedate 18kts. boat speed 7.3.
The sailing has been fabulous today. The weather has been stormy with high winds and squalls coming through one after the other. Being on watch takes a lot of concentration and it's only when you come off the helm you realise that your body has been tensed for 2 hours. Because the weather's shite, if we're not on watch we're down below and there is a general edginess amongst the crew, not quite tetchy but not as congenial as usual. I think we are all now counting down the days...6 to go unless the trade winds die away (which isn't forecast). I've definitely got ocean passages out of my system, Although I am a little bit envious of the Next Step crew going on to some exotic places: The Panama Canal, The Galapagos and The Marqueses, Tonga Fiji, Vanuatu. All places I'd love to visit however I don't think I'd want to take a year to do it and with passages of up to 4 weeks - hmmm! With no freezer, all the meat and most of the fresh fruit and veg is now finished. We caught another Mahi Mahi yesterday, which I inexpertly filletted so we had a lovely lunch of fish finger sandwiches.

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