On our way across the pond.

Tue 15 Jan 2013 17:36
27:30.30N 15:21.85W

The forecast yesterday was 'rough, becoming very rough', so we decided that wasn't fair on our new crew and left it 'till today to leave. So, with all provisions stowed away - mostly on the bunk under Ben's bunk (he's going to know it when those guavas get ripe!) we stowed away all the bits and pieces and set off, with Colin and Sigrid waving and cheering. We had expected to see Amorosa with Stuart and Emma on the fuel pontoon so we diverted past their berth to say goodbye, but they'd gone already! Maybe they snuck off early this morning because we still haven't caught them up.

The sea was very confused for 10 miles or so coming down the coast; with the sea bed shelving and the bounce back from the shore the swell seems to go every which way so Ben and Steve felt a little uncomfortable for the first part of the day, however as we got away from the island and into deeper water the movement settled down and they were fine.

It was so good to be on passage again, I loved the little rituals of leaving a marina: electric kettle away, gas kettle on the hob; pot holders in place on the gimballed stove; our Portuguese pottery jug and plate carefully placed in bubble wrap and stowed away.

We thought we'd done all the jobs before we left but there's always one you forget; this time it was replacing the battery in the compass light, so I did it under way. However, we were on the wrong tack for it to fall out, it was sloping up instead of down, so I had to spend ages trying to tease it out with blue tack and screw drivers.

We are doing well, about 7.5 knots with Yankee jib, staysail, main and mizzen. We found we were going too fast for fishing so we deployed the towed generator (Toad) but as we were doing this at 7 knots instead of the recommended 2, it's not surprising that we got a knot in the line and had to head into the wind to bring us to a stop in order to pull it in and try again, successfully this time.

Whilst we were doing this a turtle swam past our stern, right up close, just a few feet away. He was beautiful, waving his yellow flippers at us, craning his neck to see over the swell. It occurred to us that this might have been a problem if we had been towing the Toad at the time, but I guess a turtle has enough sense to avoid getting up close to a fast spinning, vibrating line.

Apart from the infamous flying fish and a gannet that's been our lot for wild life today.

Becky wanted to know what we eat whilst we're on passage, so at the risk of boring the rest of you I'll try to remember to say! We started the day with juice and croissants, as we'd not get a chance for sometime, had the good old standby of soup (packet Spanish chickpea and onion) with fresh bread bought this morning for lunch, and we're going to have rice, green beans and a chicken dish with lemon and coconut that I made yesterday ready for today. We have supplemented this with some ginger biscuits (good for sea sickness) and we each won a twix when we spotted a flying fish :-)

Shortly, we'll have a small can of beer each as a 'sundowner' - it's Ben's job to make sure we always have 4 in the fridge keeping cold, eat supper and then start our watch system, 3 hour watches from 7pm to 7am. Just one watch each - amazing luxury!

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