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Date: 08 Aug 2013 13:56:00
Title: Madeira nearer

> Dear Family and Friends,
>
> Noon Position Thursday 08.08.2013: 38º 12'N 13º 04'W
>
> Daily Run: 151 miles (distance covered since Vigo 314 miles)
>
> Last night the Portuguese trade winds firmly established themselves from the northeast at around 20 knots and I should have poled out the genoa to starboard to reduce the angle to the wind, but it was getting dark and the wind was up to 24 knots from time to time. 'I'll sort it out in the morning', I thought and turned in, leaving the ship on a course which made too much westing (235º) in relation to a desired course of 210º. I pondered how i might rectify the course to around 215º without risking an involuntary jibe and yet have the genoa filled with wind. I decided I could put a second reef in the mainsail to reduce the tendency to luff. The ship was bouncing around a bit, so that sleep had not yet found me. I put my Wimbledon track suit on, a present from Evian Water (I seem to be living in that a lot of the time), my head torch and ventured out on the wet deck. Putting a reef in the mainsail is pretty straight forward and I achieved it without any problems (poling out the genoa in the night is a slightly more hazardous business). The course improved to 225º and Luna Quest seemed to be taking kindly to the second reduction in canvas.
>
> I had seen just one ship during the day and did not expect to see any during the night. With AIS as my look-out and Fred on the helm, I turned in a second time hoping for some solid sleep, but the strong winds continued the buffet the ship rolling me in my quarter bunk from side to side. I used cushions to form a bounce barrier, but I did not have sufficient success. Sleep was intermittent and light. When I got up at 0800hrs, I found that Luna Quest was doing 7 knots on a course of 245º. That would not do! Before my first cup of tea, I jibed the boat to pole out the genoa under the lee of the mainsail. Then I jibed her back. The course improved to 215º, but tended up, not down. There was only one solid option available: pole out the large staysail opposite the poled-out genoa and take the mainsail down. I struggled with that for about and hour and a half, but once that was achieved I could bring the course down to 210º. I felt pretty exhausted after sail handling all morning and treated myself to a bacon and egg lunch. As I write this email the sun has come out reminding me to tell you that I have changed my end destination from Lanzarote to Tenerife, but first to Madeira, where I should be making landfall on Saturday.
>
> Eric

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