Tunisia to Cartagena - Day 1

Scott-Free’s blog
Steve & Chris
Sun 15 Aug 2010 14:43
37:30.8N 08:48.25E
Sunday 15th August 2010
Log  forgot to note!
Distance run in 25 hours?
Total distance run  ?
Winds have been vary variable in both direction and strength so quite a tiring sail involving frequent sail changes and tacking.  It had been overcast most of the day and in the evening as the sun went down we saw the first flashes of lightning.  They were coming quite frequently and from more than one direction, so we decided we could be at risk of a strike.  Being the only tall metal object for miles kind of gives you that feeling!  The laptops, spare GPS and henadheld radios were all put in the oven to protect them.  I am reliably informed by the scientific officer on board, aka Steve, that this acts as a Faraday cage and allows the electrical current to pass around the outside of the oven but not to pass inside it.  Therefore the electronic equipment inside should not be damaged.  Of course all the electonics fitted to the boat won't have a hope in hell if we are struck, but at least we will have the stuff from the oven to fall back on!  As long as we remember to take them out before we switch the oven on!  I also put the mobile phones inside my Harrogate toffee tin to keep them safe! 
It was a long, horrible night, with several downpours which brought with them either no wind or lots of wind so we were constantly on standby to adjust sail.  Eventually morning dawned without incident and in the flatter, calmer seas we had a hearty breakfast to make up for the evening meal we had missed the night before, and hung up the oilies to dry.
As yesterday's pork chops were still in the fridge, and today was Sunday, we decided to break from our routine of evening cooked meal to have a typical Sunday lunch.  So, having first removed the laptops etc from the oven we cooked and enjoyed enormously pork chops, roast tatties, vegetables, gravy and apple sauce. Yum!
Steve tucking into Sunday lunch
Later that afternoon as we were passing Isle de la Galite, off the Tunisian coast, our ears pricked up on hearing a message in French repeatedly coming over the VHF.  Each time it was repeated we made a bit more sense of it until we eventually realised someone was calling us!  It turned out to be the Tunisian coastguard wanting to know every possible detail about us barring Steve's inside leg measurement!  We managed to convey the info they wanted in broken French and gave a sigh of relief as they wished us on our way.  Ten minutes later they called us up again, to ask our current location and speed.  No doubt they could see us on AIS so we have no idea what this was all about.  Anyway, we heard no more from them and were soon outside of Tunisian waters in any case.
Isles de la Galite - perhaps the coastguard were up on top?