Lord Nelson is now dead!!

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Sun 8 Dec 2013 15:58
Sunday 8 December 2013

Course: 268
Engine Hrs: 10 (7 for two uses: miles and battery charging, 3 for just battery charging)
Day's Run: 98 miles
Total: 1,821 miles - Expected total distance 3000 miles
Air Temperature 32.6C
Water temperature: 32.4C
Wind speed: 4knts
Wind direction: 145T

So in the early hours of this morning, after a few hours of continuous sail flogging and bashing it was an easy decision to start the engine. Bryan was on watch and was finding it very frustrating only managing 1 knot of speed. He didn't want to start the engine because it would be noisy and hot for us trying to sleep down below. However we were all keen to have the engine running because we couldn't cope with the sails making so much noise and with the auto pilot set on wind vain, meaning that every significant wind shift meant a very annoying beeping noise. With Bryan plugged into his headphones he is completely oblivious to this noise and was going on for quite some time! We all slept soundly once the engine was started!! So much so that Bryan didn't want to wake us so stayed on watch an extra hour!!
Due to the lack of wind we are all trying to find some shade today to try and stay slightly cool. Margaret, Roger and myself are sat all to one side in the shade of the binimi and Bryan is currently lying on the deck in the scuppers in the shade of the saloon sides! All drifting between reading our kindles and catching some zzzzz!!  Bryan has finished his third book and Lord Nelson is now dead.
One thing I thought may interest people was what we do to occupy ourselves during our 4 hours each on night watch!   It's generally very black and we sit with lifejackets on attached by a safety line at all times.  It's not cold.  The sprayhood is down so there is may be a slight breeze going though the cockpit.  In the later watches it can get damp and a bit cold - although last night Bryan, on between 3 and 7am ship's time didn't need a pullover.   Obviously we have to be on look out for other boats. Currently this isn't a big task because we are roughly seeing one boat every 24hrs! Last night there was a yacht spotted by Margaret at 0230 just before she was finishing her shift. It just suddenly appeared. She thinks that they didn't have their lights on until they saw ours and got a bit closer. "Low Profile" had AIS and could be tracked....  the VHF also went on in case they were moved to call us.  It then crossed about 0.5 mile in front of us during Bryan's watch. So other things to keep us occupied include maximising our speed!! This last night for Bryan was a big task even though it turned out not to be so fruitful!! On other occasions the wind may have changed direction, dropped off or even built a little in which case the sails or our direction would need adjusting accordingly. These tasks are the most important ones but do not take up a huge amount of the four hours!! We do all generally listened to our MP3 players. I listen to varied music but when the tiredness starts to hit me I put on some up beat music and have a bit of a dance around the cockpit. I have also got a little exercise routine (squats, press-ups, lunges, plank etc) going that I repeat three times during the four hours. This not only wakes me up but also passes 10 minutes on an hourly basis. Margaret likes to listen to music again with a bit of a beat to it but dare I say not quite the same style as mine!   (I find jazz is best: Wild Bill Davision; or Glenn Miller.  M)  When she starts to feel sleepy or cold she likes to punch the air in front of her, not sure who she is imagining is there...may be the Atlantic Wind Gods!! Roger listens to his Radio 4 podcasts and likes to star gaze...when they are out! Bryan has his iPod shuffle and likes to listen to jazz music, his favorite being "The Girl from Impaneana"!!
I should probably explain the blog title!! As some of you may have been aware, Bryan has been reading all about Nelson. Which is great because we can now highly recommend a Nelson Historian, if anyone needs one?! Anyway at 1700 yesterday Bryan jumped up from his shaded position at the back of the boat and announced "Nelson is dead". He then proceeded to prepare our dinner of Chilli and Rice!
We all have our fingers crossed that the wind fills in sooner than the forecast suggests.
Lucy (Mother)