N24.21,83 W18.58,66

Nigel North
Sat 28 Jan 2012 17:22

DAY 4  Saturday, 28 January 2012

Overnight we have been making very good progress with the twin headsails driving PW at 5-6 knots downwind, and by lunchtime today we had covered a healthy 55 miles from midnight - a doubling of speed over previous days - and are now about 250 miles from Gran Canaria. Then just as we were settling down to some serious sunbathing it clouded over and the wind veered more easterly, so the question was: would we have to unrig the poled out headsails? Well it’s a pain to do that so we haven’t, and so far all is ok and PW is coping well with a wind from the port quarter, so fingers crossed.

Funny things happen on a boat, when you’re a bit short of sleep and its rolling around a lot; generally we use seawater for most things like cooking and washing up, and it comes from a simple handpump by the sink. Alfie surprised himself by pumping this with one hand, whilst holding his shaving mug under the wrong tap, to no avail of course. Talking of taps, I started pumping the ships water on the footpump and watched in amazement as it came out at about 60 degrees from the vertical due to the rolling motion of the boat acting on the stream of water. This is not only very confusing because the eye doesn‘t expect it, but potentially disastrous in the loo.

But the big story of the day is really of the night. Last night the phosphorescence made the previous night’s look amateurish. A glowing swathe two foot wide looking like a jet trail, bursts of light blooming like flashbulbs, an extraordinary scene with chinese lanterns bobbing near the surface in a long line. But the best was yet to come - flashing torpedoes charging in under the boat brilliantly lit wherever they swam: at last the dolphins were here, the first visible creatures apart from Alfie’s bird yesterday. And due to the phosphorescence you could watch their every move. Fantastic. My 3 hour watch passed in what seemed like minutes, and I was nearly late with Alfie’s tea.

We are well settled into sea routine now, and both of us have had a catch up kip in the day - essential for morale and brains! Pics take a long time to upload, so there wont be a huge number appearing!

What bird did you see then Alfie?