31:55.39N 014:33.54W Are we nearly there yet?
iain and gaynor macalister
Fri 21 Aug 2009 14:57
212 Miles to go and so as not to dissapoint us Gaynor has just performed the Biscay tortellini spectacular. Duncan I'm sure you will remember it. It's still very lumpy here with winds gusting to 24 knots and we have decided that we just have to put up with the rock n roll as everything we have tried has failed to steady the motion which is particularily forceful down below. Nobody feels much like doing anything as it is such an effort just standing up with the boat constantly pitching and rolling but Gaynor offered to make us a snack by heating up some packets of rice (the type you normally put in the microwave) mixed with packet soup, may not sound like much but it is actually delicious and fills you up. As she was assembling the two components into the bowls the boat chose to perform a particularily complicatedv series of off piste manuveres the net result of which was wall to wall soup and rice, we just stood there and looked at it for a moment trying in vain to take in the enormity of the situation and then, fuelled I guess by our hunger we scraped what we could salvage from both horizontal and vertical surfaces, all except the floor that is, into our bowls and went on deck to devour it. Any energy I gained from eating the meal has just been used up by cleaning up the debris and I'm sure we will be reminded of it often as we now have grains of rice in places that hitherto I didn't even know we had places. We are yomping along and making good steady progres towards the Island of Gran Canaria which we expect to hit on Sunday morning. We could just possibly make it on Saturday but if that means an entrance in darkness we will wait for daylight as I'm told, and the charts confirm, that nav lighting in the Islands is very poor. Ther are also WAZ zones(Wind acceleration zones that occcur often where two islands are close together and the wind funnelling between them speeds up cosiderably and creates a local lumpy and confused sea) to negotiate. Last night ,in spite of being a white knuckle ride, was very pleasant with mostly clear skies, shooting stars and lots of luminescense in the water. As Lady C dipped her rails under and the side decks flooded the small green particles floated around until the water drained out of the scuppers. Jenny Wren left a luminous trail of wake that extended far behind the boat and all around you could see the breaking crests of the white horses. I saw a turtle trundling past the boat this morning and a pod of dolphins came and played in the breaking surf all around us for about 15 mins. A bit later on when we were all out in the cockpit Tristan became very concerned about some Kamikaze birds that he'd seen flying over the water and then vanishing into it - they were actually flying fish which leap out of the water and use a wing like device to travel over it before diving back in, glad I know they're around as they often hit you in the face during night watches - who knows maybe Tristan might catch a fish after all. He lost Dexter de Lure the other day after Gaynor rigged the line, we think she must have put it together before the swivel instead of after it - what a tangle! Just had a quick chat with a very nice man on a huge tanker called Tenko Maru on the VHF to make sure he wasn't going to run us down. We have had a couple of those today where the confused sea has made our course appear erratic and large boats have radioed to check our course (and maybe see if we've been drinking)so that they can avoid us, It's quite something when a titchy little sailing boat can make a huge ocean going tanker or container ship alter course, it would be so much easier for us to do it but rules are rules.
Robin - We hope you have a really lovely time on your holiday and may COCORICO be blessed with fair wind and tide.
Max - Great to hear from you and yes I will call you as soon as we are near but see above, I'm guessing that down the middle you mean outside of theTSS system or can we enter it?
Zara n Si - It,s on Gran Canaria in the SSW of the island, give our love to Pam and tell her we send her our fondest Birthday wishes. Looking forward to seeing you next week.
TCP - if you are following this you'll know the score but if not I will be back Tues if I can possibly arrange flights etc if not Wed - Thanks for putting up without me.
Winds are now gusting to 30 knots so I'm off for some of the action before Tristan grabs it all - Getting ever closer Lady C bids you Hasta La Proxima xx