Fw: Over the Hill - N34.11.75. W47.42.58

Doug Smith
Sun 20 May 2012 17:01
----- Original Message -----
From: Doug Smith
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2012 5:43 PM
Subject: Over the Hill - N34.11.75. W47.42.58

Our position is N34.11.75 W47.42.58
We have made good progress over the last couple of days and the mood has changed. We have had two days of sailing under full sail, making about 6 knots directly toward Horta.  Last night, just after midnight, we crossed the invisible line that said only 1000 miles to go - and really felt elated, as though we were about to arrive.  Frank started singing and drumming on the deck head - which delighted the off duty watch - and Richard celebrated by starting his 30th book of the trip (no wonder a Kindle was essential!)  We have the fridge on cooling the champagne and Dave is baking a cake.  I am celebrating by asking the question "How many places do you know in the UK that are just 1000 miles away, almost on the door step, and just a short journey away?"  So,we really have got a long way to go to Horta and the same again to the UK - but we are getting there!
Life is not without its drama - we had a galley fire last night, swiftly put out by Dave and he even managed to save the pie he was cooking - you should have seen the look on Rick's face when he thought the pie was lost.  It was simply some fat spilling off the oven tray and catching light, lots of smoke but no real harm.
Looking forward we have a forecast of 40 knot winds to beat us about, followed by three days of flat calm to test our resolve, but we are getting there, now sure in the knowledge its shorter to carry on than to turn back!
We are hoping for a quick turn around in the Azores - a few essential repairs, diesel, food and water, so to save time, lists are being prepared to ensure we each have our jobs and don't stand around watching each other.  I think repairing our main toilet will fall to me as skipper's perks!
Conversation is deep, covering many topics in the small hours and new skills develop.  It appears that Rick is very good at hand beating cake mixture, I'm not sure where he learnt the skill but it has caused much amusement with the rest of the crew.  We discovered this when we had a vote on what to do with the eggs - omlette or cake - and cake won hands down (probably father and son carrying the day!)
As I write we are motoring - 956 miles to go and enough fuel for 500 miles - so we will welcome the forecast wind, though perhaps not 40 knots - will let you know what happens next update.

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