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Terry/ Nicola Flinn
Tue 5 Dec 2006 12:12
20:10.456N 33:34.567W
Monday 4th December; Day 9.
1125 miles sailed, 1655 to go, over one third of the way to St Lucia.
Days 5 and 6 were very disappointing and we managed daily runs of only 109 and 105 miles because of the very light winds; in fact, at one stage, we were going so slowly that our navigation computer predicted that we were going to miss the New Year's Eve party in St Lucia !
Things went from bad to worse, when the pump on the toilet stuck fast and we couldn't flush the loo. It was driving us all round the bend, so for the next 2 hours or so, Terry had his head in the heads, chipping chunks of calcium from inside the outlet pipe. That didn't work, so we had to evacuate every thing from the bowels of the toilet cupboard to get at the far end of the pipe. Terry and Eric beat the pipe on the poop-deck and an incredible amount of solid matter was dumped into the sea. Terry and Bob reinstalled the pipe and we had a working toilet once more; on the whole a jobby well done ! We all had a celebratory beer, flushed with success!
Bob once again produced his survival bag and rewarded us all with 'stickers' as well as an Advent Calendar to mark the start of December; the person on ' Mother Watch' gets to open the door each day and eat the chocolate inside! 
As you can see, morale on board continues to be very high with lots of puns and innuendos flying around.
We are visited by pods of dolphins at least twice a day and we know we are now in tropical waters because we find a couple of flying fish lying on the deck each morning. Terry managed to land a large dorado, which, when served with brown bread and butter and a slice of lemon produced a delicious lunch.
The trade winds arrived with a vengeance on Day 7, consistently above 20 knots and gusting to over 30. The boat is zinging along, but it is difficult to do anything below decks because the boat is pitching and rolling. Preparing food and drink needs special care, and you need to be wedged in your bunk to stop yourself rolling from side to side when you try to sleep .
At one quarter distance. we put the clocks back one hour and celebrated with a surprise bottle of ' fizz '. We have now eaten all the meals from our little freezer and have 4 days supplies of vacuum packed meat before we have to switch to canned food. Deep Joy!