26:16.67N 18:41.02W

Ocean Science's blog
Glenn Cooper
Thu 15 Jan 2015 11:45
On watch this lovely morning is Ben Dowson, shown here with the horizon-scanning gaze of the natural sailor, or maybe he is just  trying to remember the words for the 2nd verse of Hotel California.  The black bundle to his right is not R2D2 in disgrace, but our vacuum cleaner which was used to mop up the diesel spillage.    We will clean up R2D2 later.
Also on watch at the moment is our skipper, looking specially cheerful because he has managed to fix a major glitch on our SeaPro nav programme.  All our charts disappeared, but have now been reinstated. (A word for the anxious – we also carry a full set of paper charts for the N Atlantic if the whole caboodle goes pear-shaped.)
Apart from the diesel issue we had a problem yesterday with the driveshaft to the prop, which kept rotating with the engine off.  The drag from the revolving propeller was costing us half a knot or so.  The brake on the shaft was admirably fixed by Ben Scott who was brought up on a farm in SE England and can can bodge anything – whether it is a combine harvester or a leg on a milkmaid’s stool.,  Here he is in action:
As this is a family show, the usual Builder’s Bum is not on view.   Glennbo is riding shotgun with kitchen towel and words of encouragement.
Here is last night’s fish pie fresh out of the oven.  This is the fish pie with a fish on it so you know it is a fish pie.  It went down a treat with some frozen peas.    (In real life it was a gold colour not green)
A favourite breakfast on board is microwaved porridge with add-ons like muesli or honey (As the token Scotsman on board I swallow my ancestral objections, and – what the heck-  stick some dried fruit on mine)  Here is Mark with a bowl:
We have a sweepstake on the second day’s run (I am writing this before we know what it is)  We have been under sail only for all of that time, and much of the previous  day, not using the engine for propulsion, which is great.  Speed over the ground 7 or 8 knots, sometimes a little over 10- when surfing down a wave.    The wind is on the starboard stern quarter, we have the aft main boom held out with a preventer line to stop gybing., and the genoa is nice and full.  As we are going downwind we are flying only the one mainsail.  The sea condition yesterday was pretty bumpy but we had a good wind to drive us through the swell.   There is a more gentle swell today, having cleared the Canaries and being in the big sea.   The closest land is some 3 miles in the downward direction.   (Note the technical data in this paragraph is subject to correction by the senior crew)
There was a big school of dolphins playing around  the boat this morning, (when your scribe was in bunk heaven).  Good stars last night though not down to the horizon.  The best feature was seeing Venus and hot little Mercury going down in the Western sky.  There should be less haze as we go SW.
Blessings to all readers from the crew of the good ship Ocean Science