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Date: 16 Dec 2010 20:02:00
Title: Better weather as we near Bermuda

33:31.612N 67:57.872W Thursday afternoon in the North Atlantic

The wind has moderated now and the sea has settled into a pattern so it's a lot more comfortable onboard Saxon Blue. We're sailing along at about 8-9 knots in 20 odd knots of wind. We've got most of the main and the whole genoa up on a starboard tack from almost dead behind us so it's all good.

Last night was a trial for us all. I hadn't felt too bad all afternoon so was confident that I'd left the seasickness behind. Andrea and I finished our watch at 2000 and went off to bed but the wind was building and we didn't get much sleep. Bill saw 56 knots of wind at one point and we were getting hit by one squall after another, each of them with high winds and hailstones. Andrea and I came on watch again at 0400 and it was a struggle. Saxon Blue was getting tossed around all over the place and I find it harder to get comfortable in the dark. We took it in turns watching the radar for other vessels and snoozing on the sofa and I was very glad indeed when it was 0800 and Bill took over.

I was feeling very sick by then but managed to control it by hurling myself into bed and curling up really small. I got off to sleep for a couple of hours and felt much better when I woke up. In fact, I even managed to eat a baked potato for lunch and I've been on watch ever since so I'm feeling a lot better. I've even eaten some Pringles - I needed the salt!

The sea out here is gin-clear and there's not much wildlife. I've seen the occasional seabird but nowhere near as many as up North. Bill saw some flying fish this morning but I've been looking out ever since without seeing one. There's a lot of floating weed in the water so perhaps that comes from the Sargasso Sea.

We're about 160 miles from Bermuda now so we should get into harbour there tomorrow afternoon. Then we can start fixing all the stuff that's broken on this crossing. Honestly, we've not had another like it. We've broken the jib-pole bracket on the mast, the shackle on the jib running sheet, the fire extinguisher in the engine room has come off its bracket and we've been getting water into our bathroom through the ceiling. Our starboard water tank emptied itself into the bilge and the pump alarms in the aft lockers go off all the time unless you turn all the power to the cockpit off. It's like we need a refit, rather than just having finished one.

Still, on an afternoon like this, it all feels worth it.

Harvey

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