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Date: 01 Jan 2011 22:56:00
Title: Happy New Year

25:41.351N 62:47.544W Saturday evening

Happy New Year! It was strange how the timings went here. I knew that Andrea would be cheering and drinking Champagne at midnight in Winchelsea which would be 2000 here so I sent her some good wishes and an email. We were talking to Bill and the two Mikes on Alerre at 2000 as well so we sent them early good wishes. Our radio comms with them are working very well now and I can hear Bill as clearly as if he was on VHF.

Having wished our Bill and Kali a Happy New Year, I went to bed soon after 2000, only to woken up by Kali at 2130 as one of the warning lights on the engine panel had come on. It was the water in fuel filter alarm so we checked the Racors - no water - and then dismantled the filter on the engine and, again, no water. Put it all back together again and it's been fine ever since so just one of those things. Most alarms turn out to be a fault in the alarm itself.

Slept well after that and got up soon after 0700 this morning. Had another chat to Alerre at 0800 and then some breakfast. It was noticeably warmer today and the water temperature is up to 27.2 degrees C. I've spent most of the day just wearing a T-shirt although it's getting cooler now. We've been motor-sailing nearly all day with the wind about 12 knots off the port quarter. We made good time and ran about 190 miles over the ground in 24 hours. In the last half hour, the wind has picked up to over 20 knots so we've finally turned the engine off and we're still creaming along at about 9 knots.

I saw a single seagull today but the flying fish made up for it. The first time I saw one, I thought it was a tiny bird but then it dived into a wave and disappeared. I've seen whole shoals (or is it flocks) of them since. They look like overgrown dragonflies, iridescent blue with a blur of wings. They wriggle like mad to get airborne then skim over the waves, sometimes whizzing up the faces, other times just diving into them. They make me laugh every time I see one so they've been good company on an otherwise pretty uneventful day.

Kali and I just fixed the engine room air extractor fan which has been making a loud noise all day. I realised it wasn't actually pumping out any air and then Kali did some contortions and found that the lowest point of the pipe was full of sea water. It must have come in through the outlet on the transom when we had the big seas on the way to Bermuda. A quick stab with a knife sorted that out and we're fine again now. I always thought all the vents on the transom were a bad idea and this has proven that point. Altogether too many holes in this boat, if you ask me.

Just about to have dinner now and them I'll be soon off to bed. We're about half way between Bermuda and St Martin now so it's looking good to arrive there the same day as Andrea. Hurray!

Harvey

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