Rolling South

Paul Huntley
Sat 18 Oct 2008 09:24
09:00 hours Saturday 18th October
Hi to all you blog watchers,
I arrived back in Lagos on Wednesday evening flying Squeezy jet from Gatwick to Faro, took a cab to Lagos as I had missed the last train.Found Bob and Lynne enjoying their dinner in a marina restaurant.
We walked to Libertad to meet up with Ben Hastey and his partner Debora , our new crew. They had come all the way from Coventry to join us on Tuesday morning and were settling in to life on board.Nick was supposed to be rejoing us to complete this leg but prolapsed a disc in his back whilst changing an oil filter on his boat, sorry you could'nt make it Nick.
Bob and Lynne had decamped to an hotel for the last few days of their holiday to enjoy the luxury of hot and cold running water,(pump water broken down on Libertad) Lynne had to catch the early train to Faro for her flight to Gatwick.Bob has recieved a text to say she arrived home safely.
Thursday came hot and sunny with a long list of jobs to do before sailing. The pressure water system took most of the day to fix but eventually discovered a blockage in the pipe to the tank,I relaced all the filters and cleaned the tank.After putting the boat back together, Bob told me I had used up a weeks quoter of four letter expletives in just a few hours so he marched me off to the bar for a beer!
The weather was on the change with a cold front comming in from the west,the barometer dropped a steady four millibars over night indicating we might have some wind. The forecast indicated  north to north west 2/3 or 5 to 10 knots.Checked another source of meteo to confirm the conditions and decided to put to sea at noon.We completed our safety briefings and worked up a saling plan on Seapro.
With full water and fuel tanks , Ben and Debora went shopping for stores to last the anticipated five days passage.Having paid the mooring fees we backed off the berth to wait a few minuets for a bridge lift and headed down the harbour to sea.
With only 6 knots of wind from the north east we hoist main by the grotto's and motorsail south, setting a course direct to the Canary Islands  of 205 degees M . Within a few minuits we spot a school of Dolphin off the starboad bow, and In the early evening we see a pod of pilot whales heading north in a slow relaxed group of about twenty to thiry.
Under leaden storm clouds we motor on to the traffic seperation zone south of Capo St Vincente, dodging under the stern of Mersk Sealand and another VLCC (very large container carrier) clearing both north and south lanes before dark.
Debora  cooked the supper of Spag Bol which was very well received. Our watch pattern this time would be four on and four off, rotating  each day. 
Ben and Debora took the first watch from 20:00 to midnight wilh Bob and I doing the 12:00 to 04:00. We all had a good few hours sleep waking again to cloudy skies and little wind.
We are now  150 miles south of Lagos with  Lanzarote as our land fall sometime on Tuesday.We may well be tempted to stop off for a night before going on to Las Palmas.
I will try to blog again tomorrow. Best wihes to you all Paul.