Things that go bump in the night

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Wed 11 Dec 2013 15:34
Wednesday 11 December 2013


Course: 268
Engine Hrs: 2
Day's Run: 157 miles
Total: 2,242 miles
Temperature 26.5C
Water temperature reading 31.5C
Wind speed: 20knts
Wind direction: 72T

Hello Everyone,
We are stonking along on a starboard broad reach at between 6 & 7knots in 20 to 22knts of breeze, with Martinique on the nose. We have two reefs in the main and the genoa poled out and furled to a smidgen. We are sailing in bright sunshine with a the four of us enjoying the ride, from the the cockpit. We are confidently predicting our best days run of 157 miles. The weather looks to be set like this for the remained of the passage, so I will be surprised if we cannot average 6knts over the remaining 800miles. With a little more sail, we could do another knot, but this would involve sailing on the edge all the time, with the crew constantly wondering if the the boat will get the better of the autohelm, leading to a 'broach' on the next wave.
Overnight as Lucy's watch ended at 11pm, I was awoken by the motion in the forepeak, which was something akin to fairground ride. We were doing in excess of 7knts and by body was regularly leaving the berth, and I was having to sleep athwart ships with my feet braced against the cabin side. After about an hour, I decided the the forepeak and sleep were not compatible, so I moved to the cabin berth and Margaret and I are now 'hot bunking' (In case you are wondering this is a nautical term and not what may be implied.).  
During Roger's watch the wind and waves continued to build and towards the end he furled the genoa, rather that call everyone up to reef the main. He then handed over to Margaret and went to bed. Unfortunately whilst buckling up the lee cloth, the boat lurched and he was ejected onto the cabin floor, hitting his side on the edge of the saloon deck floor and waking the rest of us by groaning rather a lot. With the benefit of day light we realise Roger has either bruised or cracked a rib. Nurse Riley has been in attendance, administering pain killers and he has been put he is on 'light duties' because this was his third accident.
This morning we have seen a large fish jump two feet clear of the waves, hotly pursued by four dolphins. Lucy claims to have witnessed a water spout on the horizon and shortly afterwards a large mammal frolicking clear of the waves. Based on this sighting I am expecting see a 'flock'  of mermaids later this afternoon.  ( the crew think that Bryan is demonstrating that he's been at sea far too long!)
We are expecting the wind to rise to 25knts over night, so another reef may be called. We are all in high sprits and I have been reading the Martinique tourist guide to evaluate the waterside restaurants. I am really looking forward to that that first beer, some time on Tuesday afternoon / evening (counting chickens I know, but it would be nice to finish on a flourish)
Best wishes, Bryan (Mum)