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Date: 19 Oct 2009 16:08:30
Title: 32;38;6000N16;54;4000W

I thought I would do a girly blog (this is Ali ,not Ray!)
We have been on the boat now for nearly 3 months.Most of the time it has been good, some times if I'd been able to swim far enough I would probably have jumped ship! The weather is generally ideal,with fairly cool mornings that have an autumnal feeling,hot days,sometimes too hot and balmy evenings. When it's rained ,which it did for nearly a week in Madeira it was foul.Wet but also hot and sticky ,so that everything felt damp ,including the bedding,not nice at all.
 
It's been great having a enough time to explore places and really get a feel for how the locals live,both Lisbon and Madeira have had a good friendly feel and lots of Custard tarts! So actually when we're ashore I'm pretty happy,it's being on the boat with a grotty little loo,that can be rather smelly and a bit tricky to balance on when the seas rough,that is the problem. Also everything tastes of seawater as we rinse the dishes in seawater when we're sailing to conserve the fresh water. We have had to spend alot of money on really boring, but Ray says essential things like getting sails fixed, replacing stachions and batteries, oh and getting a leak fixed(even I thought that was pretty important). So whilst these repairs were carried out we slept suspended 2 metres in the air in a boat hoist.It was actually very comfortable, no creaking warps or squeaky fenders to keep me awake. The bed is pretty comfortable, better than I thought it would be.Laundry can be very simple, just hand the launderette your bag of washing and collect it at the end of the day washed ,dried and ironed,or very difficult. Find the machine,scrape around to find the change to but in the machine, find someone got there before you,return to boat,try again later,get the washing done,scrape together more change for the drier,the drier doesn't fully dry the clothes so sit with wet clothing around you for two days,thats when I wanted to jump ship.
 
What elso do I miss? My fridge we do have a fridge but it doesn't dispence ice for a really good G&T.Having said that the Spanish and Portugese do a pretty mean G&T,80% gin and 20% tonic, one lasts all evening,honestly.
We do miss our friends and family, though it's amazing the people you meet on the way,most of them seem to be from Devon, (well quite a few) also people with young children sailing around the world!  Ray misses a good pint of beer and also I know this is not at all girly but I've missed not watching the rugby,especially as Exeter are doing so well. We haven't missed the TV at all,but I do miss not reading the newspapers. An English paper costs about  5 euros,is a day old and half of it is usually missing.
We have had plenty of time to read and think whilst sailing and basically,you can't avoid daily stresses completely but generally it's not such a bad way to spend time.
I'm still not to sure how I will cope with 3 weeks at sea,but I still have hats and socks to knit,who knows what they will look like!.
Hope life is treating you well.
Love Ali

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