logo Lady Stardust Faro-Portugal to Barcelona - 2010
Date: 02 Dec 2006 16:50:48
Title: Dolphns at dawn

I'm typing this for Kathy as she is lying on the bunk acting like an old women in need of nursing. The reason being that we have been battered by wind and waves for 24 hours now, Kathy had the midnight watch last night and winds got up to 30knts, for those who don't sail, that's a lot. We still have 25+ knots and are running under small Genoa and double reefed mainsail. By waves keep boarding the cockpit so we have retreated below. Very chilled down here, listening to Ghost town by the specials. It's lovely and warm here too.
So Kathy says....
Spotting a fin in the water on my 4-8am watch yesterday I thought at first it was a shark but when more appeared I knew the dolphins were back. They stayed by the boat for half an hour swimming on either side of it. I couldn't see them as clearly as the ones in the Spanish waters but I think they have different markings and appear to be smaller. When they left the sun came up and I have included a picture of it here because it was so beautiful
We are operating on two different time after moving 15deg West. This means the GPS time is back 1 hour and keep our watches from that but keep the boats clock on British time for VHF and SSB broadcasts. It also means when we get to St Lucia we won't have to adjust to a 4 hour time difference because we will move the clock back another hour for each 15 degrees of longitude we traverse.
There was very little wind yesterday so we had the engine running with Simon the autohelm on for most of the day because Bella kept rattling and collapsing in such a light breeze. It was very hot so we spent a lot of time in the cockpit listening to music on the new SeaSpeakers that Paul fitted. We allowed ourselves one beer each as a change from the two litres of water we have to drink each day! For lunch we had fruit (P{ears and Kiwis) in a bid to use them up before they perish (We are saving the precious oranges for next week).
Thursday's meal was a lighter cold meat and cheese with Canarian new potatoes, peas and of course carrots while last night we had veggie burger, mash and ..... well I offered to do something different , mushrooms or corn but Paul said he would be happy with Carrots because they are nice from the local market, which was good of him I thought.
The wind picked up in the evening and increased until it was 25-30knots and the sea got rough too - with 16ft waves. We were and still are rolling, yawing and pitching and being thrown around all over the place. There were heart stopping moments last night when Paul went up on the coachroof to adjust spinnaker poles, sails etc which had me mentally rehearsing the MOB (man overboard) drill. Neither of us got much sleep due to the rolling so we were both up to see the sunrise, more dolphins and watch a variety of sea birds swooping and diving for fish. I am off now to loose myself in Robison Crusoe's triumphs and tribulations, I bet he would have been glad of some carrots.
Bye for now K
Paul Says,
Crusoe can have all the carrots he wants
Just so I don't forget, here is a list of things that broke in the last week.
1.    Engine cooling
2.    Autohelm control bracket smashed
3.    Strip Lights
4.    Exhaust Hose
5.    V-berth Lights
6.    Radar reflector
7.    Vacuum Flask, (can't say I blame it, flying across the cockpit)
8.    Dorade box ripped to bits by Genoa sheets. (Now fixed)
All in all not too bad so far. We are now about a quarter of the way across the pond, 750 miles out from the canaries. So at this rate we will make St Lucia in 24 days total. However I expect to beat that due to us now being firmly ensconced in the trade winds. We are using a simple tried and tested rig here with main pulled out to starboard and a huge Genoa poled out to Port. We tend to make about 6+ knots this way, however all the corkscrewing down the waves means we don't travel a straight line so it's really not that fast.
Kathy is cooking great meals, we eat better here than at home!, however over careful provisioning means we are considering opening a grocery store in St Lucia.
We are in touch with the other yachts we made friends with during our time in Las Palmas, in particular the Fins tell us they had a xmas party with hats and a cake yesterday. It's hard to imaging such a thing, but the image will stick with me forever.
Sunset Last Night (Fri)

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