20:38N 34:12W

Tue 4 Dec 2007 15:30
Day 10

We had hoped to celebrate halfway across today, but slow progress
overnight and again today means it looks like it will be sometime in the
small hours of tomorrow morning that we achieve this milestone. During
the day, in these lightish winds we fly the gennaker or cruising chute.
However, at night we take it down to avoid anyone having to go on the
foredeck after dark. Last night, just as the sun was setting we went to
get it down, but the halyard (the rope that keeps it up) got stuck and the
outer skin start to peel away – a bit annoying considering it was new in
Las Palmas. The only solution was for someone to go up to the top of the
mast and free it otherwise we would have half a sail up all night. Mark,
an old hand at this, volunteered and Mike hoisted him on the main halyard
and Charlie took the slack on a safety line. It was pretty hairy given
the boats rocking motion which is greatly increased as you swing from the
top of the mast and also because it was getting dark. However Mark
managed to feed the halyard down and we got the sail down for the night.
After all this excitement, we rewarded ourselves with chocolate and took
the notebook into the cockpit, somehow rigged it to the boat’s speakers
and watched a film under the stars as we ambled along in light winds –
very strange! Today we have given the boat a thorough clean inside and
out and are now making OK progress but could do with more wind, which
luckily is forecast. Now down to the last of our fresh food and beginning
to open tins but the water supplies look very healthy. There was another
reporting of an abandoned yacht last night, with no navigation lights on
so we kept a good watch.