2 weeks ago today we left the Canaries, 2145 miles
sailed and 915 to go. Sunday is shower day, Peter and I are feeling
fantastically clean and Chris is showering as I write. It's 8pm GMT and dinner
over we are about to relax in the cockpit for a double viewing of '24', the last
2 episodes in this series - what will we do for sunset entertainment?! The
vacuum packed chicken has unfortunately not lasted the trip and stank so bad
when Chris opened it this evening he nearly vomited!! Thank god for tinned
We had quite an eventful night, as
we have finally moved westward enough to experience the odd shower
or squall. We are not too worried about the rain, but its the sudden
increase in wind strength and often change in direction that can be an
issue, especially as they always seem to loom up overnight.
The evening started with dark clouds looming just
before dark, so we decided to change to the 'parasailor' which we are
assured can tolerate strong gusts of wind, the hole allowing that extra wind to
escape. This done, we also put a reef in and then waited and watched.
Luckily it missed us. Feeling sorted, we settled in to '24' before starting the
watches. No day seems free of something going wrong, this time it was to
be the navigational system. 'NO FIX' with an alarm. This meant that we had
no GPS (Global positioning system) giving us our Lat. and Long. Not a huge
problem temporarily as we keep an up to date log and still had our
compass bearing and speed. But more the issue that as always its dark, and all
alarms are going off. Alarms eventually silenced, Chris and I leave Peter on
watch. 30 min later a further reef is required and Chris offers to help Peter as
I only have 2 hours before I am on watch. I wish I had got up to watch the
scene.....Chris in only his underwear and lifejacket!!
So, we had a conservative sail plan all night and
all watched every approaching cloud with concern. Not a relaxing
night. A huge gust during my watch left Peter in 'virtual' 3 feet under
water in his port cabin, as we heeled, spinning into wind and dipping the boom
in the water. The alarms also restarted on my watch of course......as I
desperately tried to read the Raymarine manuals, not wanting to wake the
boys, a head thankfully poked out of the cabin window in the cockpit
with instructions, thanks Peter......Later on his watch he also managed to
get the navigation system working again, although he has admitted to not knowing
quite how - I do like a bit of honesty occasionally!
The day sailing was steady and glorious. We surfed
down waves with the kite up listening to '3 men in a boat'. Quite
appropriate and profound at times, although rather than crossing the Atlantic
they are sailing/punting from Kingston to Oxford.......
Chris's parents left Gatwick this afternoon for St
Lucia. Quite strange to think they are up there soon to pass over
Thanks to my mum who sent the first Kingston SMS
position report, now that they have taken over from
Now for a change to the 'night time' spinnaker (the
parasailor) and the addition of a reef, then time for '24'