28:29.63N 015:51.81W

Lady Corinne
iain and gaynor macalister
Sun 23 Aug 2009 14:18
Welcome to what will probably be our last maritime soldier dipped in the inky yolk of the blue, blue Atlantic.  This is fantastic we are in the Traffic Seperation Zone between Gran Canaria and Tenerife. I don't usually use them,being a very little vessel compared to the gargantuans that normally inhabit these strange highways of the seas.  Looking up I can see Mount Teide right in front of me  We are told that if we use it we should avoid the worst of the WAZ (Wind acceleration zone between the islands)  It's a bit like a nautical dual carriageway with strict lanes and entry/exit criteria - Lady C just thinks it's one big excuse to go as fast as she can.  We were hoping for a slow passage through it(It's about 45 miles long) so we can dock in daylight at Mowgan but "The old Slapper has other ideas and is racing down the outside lane at a breathtaking 6.4 Knots - you may smile but it really is exhilarating.   Gaynor and I are in the cockpit trying to control her so we dont draw attention to a small boat using the system (we are allowed to but they prefer it if we dont as we just get in the way and they think we don't go fast enough) - "Tell her to slow down Gaynor we'll get kicked out" " You can tell her I'm not going to spoil her fun"
Storms have gone and it's down hill all the way now.  They didn't go without giving us a good kicking for telling you we were all OK.   Just after I sent that   the wind really got up, we were running on deep reefed main and mizzen with gybe protectors on both, There was a wind shift and it started trying to back the sails, I quickly started the engine   to try and drive her round and there was a huge force on the boom, we came into wind and the seas that we thought were big when we were running in front of them really were BIG when we faced them.   Poor Tristan was asleep at the time but on hearing something wildly exciting stirred himself  and tried to come out where the action was.  Gaynor and I were grappling with the elements and taking facefulls of sea as the wind whipped the tops of the foaming crests. We had the companionway hatch closed and two wash boards in place in case we inherited a wave in the cockpit and when Tristans eager features appeared I told him in a very strict Uncle Iain voice (It's one I've perfected when I'm actually terrified)  "Stay below" he still hasn't forgiven me I don't think.   He's back in his bunk with Mal de mer again I'm afraid but he did manage to eat two huge rolls filled with tuna and salsa in spite of saying he didn't feel too bright before he went. After the excitement had passed and we were dusting ourselves off Gaynor noticed that the boom was broken, I hoped she was saying The dolphins are back and I'd just misheard her. but no the boom had been subjected to huge forces and a scarphed joint about half way down had started to open up.  We managed to lace a number of jubilee clips together to form 3 large  clips and I have put these around it as a temporary repair.  It seems quite strong and we are nursing it so I,m pretty sure it will hold up.   Yes Pam the self steering does get lots of praise, I think I told you it sounds like a grunting Wimbledon player who has been locked in the lazerette and is doing things with a sumo wrestler, but boy does it work, except after the boom incident.., it went crazy and when I finally dug my way right to the back of the boat to where it's sited(nice place to ride out a storm) I found the rudder reference device(which I was a little unhappy about when they installed it) had come undone.  We managed to fix it and it's been OK since. So  yes in spite of all that we are in good spirits today and will be on dry land tomorrow morning at first light.  I will get a blog off to let you know as soon as we do. Thanks for sticking with us, we've had a great time and all 4 of us have loved every minute (showers will be nice though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)  Hasta manyana The smellies {CHANGE TO AT} seainC {DOT} com xxx