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Date: 12 Dec 2009 12:28:00
Title: 24 hrs to Barbados

13 55N 57 25W
 
1200 UTC Saturday 12 Dec - 130 miles and 1 day to go
 
Tony's Blog
 
Getting excited now with only 24 hrs to go. We shall have completed the voyage in 18 days 12 hours which isn't bad going for a small boat. Have got out the Mars Bars in celebration for the "Grumpy Old Men" . Slowing down a bit so we arrive at Customs after breakfast.
 
Had quite a rough night after the last blog with sustained 30 knot winds gusting to 34. Woken up with a start at 2am when a whopping big wave came straight in through the galley porthole, narrowly missing me and my bedding in the aft cabin. Another job today to bail out the bilges. We had sailed south over the last 2 weeks and ordered 20 knots so got more than we bargained for. 
 
Bob made up with a fresh hot roll brimming with crispy bacon for breakfast.
 
While hanging on for grim death, made another loaf of bread yesterday but added some sugar and powdered milk which made it lighter and sweeter. Fantastic aroma and lunched on it with ham and cheese.
 
 
Bob caught a very large Dorado but threw it back because we need variety. Then John caught a Skipjack Tuna of the right size which he has filleted. I am cooking with some coriander and dill sauce and home made sardines and butter sauce with chips for dinner tonight.
 
 
 
We didn't have the fishing all to ourselves yesterday, A couple of Petrels had to get in on the act by performing acrobatics,folding their wings and diving from a great height, straight as an arrow into the sea. They surfaced within seconds with fish in their beaks.
 
Had the twins fully out  when we were doing 8.5 knots but had to reef because we were continually broaching with disastrous results in the galley and saloon. We sometimes consider just emptying the frying pans with our favourite menus straight on to the cockpit floor and diving in. Its unusual not to have someone's dinner there.
 
Last night seemed to be worse. Came up for midnight watch, Big black clouds blocking out the starlight and asked when they had built a railway out here. Express trains were hissing and roaring down on us letting off excess steam. A break in the cloud showed all OK. Its just the never ending wave trains with the wind whistling through the rigging.
 
As soon as you get out of bed its necessary to lie down in the cockpit since its far to tiring to sit never mind stand. I watch mesmerised by the masthead light swinging and making great sweeping arcs through the starry sky. The magic of the bright shooting stars hold me spellbound, One of them seems to almost hit the mast. There is a lull in the wind and I think Ha Ha I've got it all beat. 
 
And then another express train thunders in to spoil it. This one hits the beam with a wham bam and a big thump and covers me with spray. I worry that it may be whales wanting to play so I get up and look behind only to find another big black front catching us up. This one is going to give us a real good walloping. Am I glad I have my Man Overboard Alarm strapped on, my lifejacket on and harness firmly clipped to the floor. The boat is locked up tight but its hot and sweaty down below. 
 
Morning breaks with a clear sky, the sun is up and hot and 3 large birds, almost as big as albatross, are circling overhead. Alls OK with the world.
 
 
Tidied up the chart table this morning so I can find my MP3 player. Have got out John and Val Mee's Pilot book for the Caribbean and planning sailing trips to Trinidad, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Antigua and the Virgin Islands. But first got out Doyles Guide to find the biggest Rum Punch the moment we hit the beach in Barbados.
 
Don't expect a word for 48 hours, we shall be out of our minds.
 
Signing off
 
Tony
 
John's Blog, Kindly typed by Bob since John's PC consists of a pheasant feather and ink well!!!!!! here we go:
 
I'VE FINALLY BEEN LET OUT, HURRAH!!!!!
 
Here I sit on the Bog, contemplating what to say in my Blogg.
 
'MMM'
The crew have been threatened with punishment for eating too many Mars Bars, (which the skipper keeps in his little secret store, bless him. We just sighed and reminded him what happened to Captain Bligh. So chill out skipper, give it a go or you'll be in for a long row!!!!!
 
Maggellan Bob has been at the GPS already this morning, he hasn't enlightened us yet, I strongly suspect we are lost. He's cooking breaky at the moment, We're having half a grapefruit, a small bowl of special K and some natural yoghurt. Wish we could have a bacon roll with the roll warmed in the bacon juice, butter and brown sauce.
 
Without a ship in sight the skipper announced, "I can smell a freighter" mmmm, It's now come to our notice that what he should have said is 'I can smell a slave ship" (Us)
 
When we get back we're going to approach Waddingtons with an idea for a new game we have devised called 'Dodge the flying dinner plate" Just open any cupboard at home and you just don't know what will fly out, a surprise behind every door!!!!!
 
Just been informed nearly out of grog so no more time for the Blog from the Bog.
 
John, the Mars bar knicker.
 
 
Bob's Bit
 
Before we sign off we need to share with you the vision of Tony's chart table, well we say chart table, there's not been a single chart near it for 17 days, heaven knows how we managed to navigate this far.
 
 
 The table as I write has on top of it, 1 computer keyboard, a novel 'The Tunnel Rats' (been there for days), various guides and books relating to the racks of electrical equipment on the boat, headphones, spanners 3 pairs of glasses, (we think Tony has at least 8 pairs on board), at least a dozen cables related to electronics, screwdrivers, a compass, CD's, DVD's, memory cards, rigging shackles, rechargeable batteries and much much more. Do you recall the game where items were placed on a tray, one item secretly removed and you had to guess which one it was, we'll lets play that. I did recently look under the chart table in the area where you keep spare charts and non electronic navigational aids, As I lifted the lid, just a couple of inches all I saw was 3 pairs of eyes looking at me, ahh a family of travelling mice from Las Palmas
 
By the way Diane, the boat? Looking like a new pin, just think about how your children's bedrooms looked when they were say 12/13, lock that picture in your mind and you'll be somewhere close!!!!!
 
We all looked at each other in despair 2 days ago, An attempt to start the engine to recharge batteries ended in clicks all round and not an engine revolution in sight. Still we then found Tony not only hoards Mars Bars but spare engine batteries too. Ten minutes later we turned the key and Sizewell 'B' roared into action generating enough juice to power a small African Nation. The skipper just loves those Volts and Amperes. As I sign off to the singing guitar of Carlos Santana (Tried to educate the other silly old buggers with some dance music Tiesto/Armin, nearly got flogged!!!!!! no helping some eh? You need to move with the times fellas), big hand for the skipper, he's making bread again, good work Tony.
 
265 miles to go!!!!!!!
 

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