Roger and Margaret Pratt
Sun 15 Dec 2013 17:38
Sunday 15 December
Speed: 7.0 kn
Wind Direction 90
Wind Speed 20
Day’s Run 158m
Total Miles 2864
Engine Hours 3
Temp Outside 27.9
Temp water 27.4
We are on the home straight, still broad reaching on starboard tack as we have been doing for the last 5 days and maybe more! Currently the wind is 22-28 knots and our speed over the ground is c7.3knts. We woke up this morning to some massive seas, Lucy was on the helm and I was observing the waves (not for the faint hearted). The waves were 4.5 metres trough to top. The boat is handling the conditions well, which led us into a false sense of security, sailing with the deck hatches open. (no longer, but it is now 30 degrees in the cabin and jolly sticky (sorry too much information)).
At dusk yesterday we saw our first ship for several days, it was Indonesian bulk carrier bound for Gibraltar. It was steaming at 9 knots and passed to starboard about half a mile away. It looked very majestic punching into a 4 metre swell, apparently without any rise and fall of the bow, just waves and spray going over the bow and along the deck at twice the height of the topsides. Lucy and I gave them a friendly wave, but no response, they must think we are mad, sailing on such a topsey turvy small platform.
Lucy took the first night shift last night. As she took over there was a squall of 45 knots with rain driving horizontally into the cabin. So poor Lucy was locked out in the elements, and the wash boards insulated the rest of us from the rain. in the excitement of closing up the boat Roger closed one of the saloon hatches onto Margaret’s fingers, which now have black and very painful nails. This was the first of many occasions when Lucy was pickled in brine.... she thinks that her shorts are now so encrusted with salt that they’d stand up on their own! After that, all was fine indoors until a wave broke on the quarter, which it did just as we were trying to eat our cereal this morning. The wave drenched the cockpit, as well as Margaret sleeping in the berth below, not to mention the cabin and most importantly, the navigation computer. I came down below to read the E-mails and found the screen shaded for 50% of the area and the touch pad not responding. Our skipper has risen to the occasion and we are running on the first of two back-up computers (would you expect anything else?) The only problem is that we had not read or responded to the E-mails in the inbox, so if you sent us something over the past 24 hours, please re-send.
Most of us had a fairly disturbed night owing to the conditions, but this has not dampened the elation of being nearly there! We expect to make land fall in the early hours of the Monday evening, hopefully we will have a full moon and be able anchor in a bay just outside of the marina. We plan to have a sleep with all the hatches open and hopefully motor to a marina berth in the morning. The starboard water tank is now empty so only drinking water left. We need to get into port!
We are still in contact with Capibara on the SSB radio; all is well but they have had enough and want to get into port. They plan to have an hotel room for a few days just to get off the boat. I expect they will have a shower too!
My next task is to make scrambled egg on toast for lunch, I think this may be a challenge, with all the hatches shut and and the crockery etc. bouncing across the worktop (I have just removed my top for the first time to cope with the conditions, in-spite of Jenny advising me before we left, that nudity was not appropriate for an old man!). Lucy will be in charge tomorrow for our final blog whilst underway.
Best wishes Bryan. (mum)
PS. The eggs have gone off so no scrambled eggs for lunch!