Next stop Malta

Flyer of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Wed 5 Nov 2008 01:23
35:58.70N 16:55.53E
04 November
Following yesterdays "no show" by the breeze, we only had to wait untill 01:50 this morning to hoist full sail. Initially we had only F2-3 from the SE which was enough to push Flyer along at 6 knots on a broad reach. By mid morning this had picked up to  F5 gusting 6 and we were surfing along at 12 knots in glorious sunny conditions. I was keen to hoist the new Gennaker after lunch but the boys hid it from thinking it would be a bit of a handful. Anyway we had exceeded our mission statement for the first time this trip which was a great achievement. There was some doubt amongst the crew who should be claiming the maximumspeed of 12 knots, was it the autohelm or skippy? Of course there was no doubt in the mind of the writer, skippy was helming at the time while giving a bit of burble express to coax Flyer on a bit! We continued to have great conditions putting in a single reef in late afternoon, when right on cue as Sandy had the dinner ready the wind blew up to F8. We put in a second reef  which settled Flyer down as she had been starting to broach wildly. The breeze settled down to around F6 allowing the all important dinner to be eaten! The sea had picked up a bit now and we were around 200NM from the nearest landfall giving room for the swell to build up. The days run was 168NM and our ETA at Valetta on Malta is 18:00hrs on 05 November.
There has been very little shipping around making the midnight to 04:00hrs watch relatively straightforward and allows time to update our progess on here. The only downside to having a laptop on board is the time it takes to recover night vision when returning on deck.