logo Lady Stardust Faro-Portugal to Barcelona - 2010
Date: 17 Dec 2006 23:00:16
Title: Almost there!

It looks like the tropical Caribbean climate we've been enjoying has been replaced with weather more like a British Autumn.  We've had squalls and showers ever since Friday morning and the sky has been heavy with grey, black and white clouds.  It's been warm though and we had the odd period of sunshine breaking through.  Paul made us omelettes on Friday evening (we have quite a few surplus eggs to get through now!) and we just managed to finish eating in the cockpit before a heavy shower forced us into the cabin.  My night watch followed much the same pattern - throwing cushions and book down the steps, hurrying into the cabin, shutting the hatch and doors and waiting until it stopped before venturing out again.  Paul didn't bother going out for his watch apart from the usual checks, but I prefer to be outside for mine. 
On Saturday things were much the same, perhaps even a bit chilly at times so by mid afternoon we gave up sitting outside and remained in the cabin for most of the rest of the day, dozing, reading, listening to the radio and doing the usual checks up above.  All in all it was a languid and largely unproductive day, made worse by the inevitable lurching and rolling and the fact that we're eager to get there now. 
During the night things calmed down a bit and by 9 o'clock the lingering heavy clouds cleared, leaving a clear, sunny sky and the hot temperature we'd been used to.  
Paul greeted me this morning with the news that the engine's alternator had broken and he couldn't fix it because the battery on his multi-metre was flat and he didn't have spares for it. I could think of no constructive reply to that so just watched while he mulled it over before surrounding himself on the cabin floor with an impressive array of tools, wires, tape and an assortment of batteries. Before long he had actually made a battery for the multi-metre by using 3 other batteries and a blowtorch!  Naturally it worked and he was able to fix the alternator.  I couldn't help remarking that I sometimes feel like I'm going out with Doctor Who.
Anyway things are going well now for our arrival tomorrow - we estimate a lunchtime arrival and have spent today getting ready for it.  We had showers, washed our hair, washed some clothes, filled up with diesel and generally tidied up.  At lunchtime we celebrated our third week at sea with our last box of Irish chocolates and some beer, and then it clouded up again but thankfully no squalls.  I took a picture of one in the distance and you can see the rain coming out of the cloud if you look closely.  At the moment we have the engine on because the wind's dropped again and I'm off to make us some soup for our last evening meal on board.
Back again some time tomorrow to report our safe arrival and first thoughts on St Lucia,
Bye for now,
The customized alternator
The Gothic-looking squall

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