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Date: 06 Dec 2009 22:41:12
Title: Downhill to Barbados

17 15.5N 42 32.5W
1200 hrs UTC 6th Dec 2009 1000 miles to go.
Well and truly in the trade winds for the last 3 days and haven't had to touch the "twins", Port and starboard genoas are flying just great. Now doing about 6.8 knots but during the night this went up to well over 7. Average speed for the trip so far is 5.9 knots but this will probabvly increase to 6 and a trip of just less than 18 days.
It is like Meercat world here with someone regularly poping up out of the burrow, looking round and dissapearing down the hole again. Mind you they usually have to wake up the bloke on watch. This is not done for the good of the ship. We have a bet on as to who spots the first sail. We have sailed through at least 30 ARC boats and haven't seen a sign. We had a really nasty shock yesterday though when the VHF sparked into life. A boat that we could not see was calling a 700ft tanker for a weather forecast that was only 7 miles away from us We could see the tanker on Radar and AIS but not a sign of him on the horizon. Its not surprising that we don't see any yachts.
Its 30 degees in the shade and thankfully we have the bimini. The17 knot wind from astern is a nice gentle breeze of 10 knots over the cockpit: just enough to keep us cool.
Our first flying fish on deck during the night. Not enough for even a meercat to eat. Hanging the fishing line over the back during the day but we have lost 2 big lures, both due to chewed lined so must have had some big fish.
  Each day we have a garmin GPS and local news update by Bob who keeps us posted on the miles to go.(Its usually couched in terms of the first female or bar we are likely to see). It takes Bob several hours to work up the calculations since he has to get up to look at the log and subtract yesterdays reading. By this time the batteries on the portable GPS have gone flat so it usually end up in a womens gossip group discussing todays dobbie, critical aclaim of yesterdays menus and a squable who's having the last Mars Bar.
The position reports do keep us focused and Tony even puts a dot on the chart every 3 or 4 days.
Topped up the tank with 80 litres of diesel the other day and still have 200 in the tank and 140 on deck. John wants us to know that he checks it every 3 or 4 days to see if its still there.(It does releive the bed sores for him).We charge the batteries for about 5 hours a day during which we run the watermaker for 3 hours all taking 8 to 10 litres per day of diesel.
The wind is increasing and some storm clouds comong up from the SE. Can see white water on the horizon and some rain squalls so better go and clear the cockpit. 
Bob's bit, Just for the record the bloke above in the picture that looks as if he means buisiness with a chart, dividers and parrallel rule is the biggest work of fiction since vows of fidelity were written into the French marriage ceremony. It's all been electronic, heaven knows what will happen if we don't pay our electric bill and get cut off!!!!! On the other hand, Tony, thanks for getting us this far on course and in good time. Hygene, John has been threatening a shower for some time now, he did move towards the heads half an hour ago but foolishly I made tea causing further delay. The food mountain in Tony's cabin seems to be reducing, we'll not get through the lot and the Pot Noodle emergency rations can stay safely locked in the emergency provisions cupboard, that's a real plus for me as my studenty fast food existance is well in the past. Fishing, lost most of the good lures, dam, those squiddy lookalike ones were the buisiness. Wire traces next time me thinks, Ah sorry Sam, I did promise I'd only do this once!!!!! John has now made it to the main saloon but sadly crashed out on the sofa, I may have to physically load him into the shower. Just glanced at the plotter 986 miles to go. TTFN

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