24:04N 26:36'W

Madeleine and Martin
Fri 14 Dec 2012 11:01
2000 11th December. Day 2.  Just recovering from the shock of seeing the stars for the first time on this passage. They are dangerously close, brighter and more profuse than seems possible. The panoply is quite beyond comprehension but I can tell you that someone has worked very hard on Orion’s Belt. Down at sea level things are a bit different. We have not seen another vessel since leaving the coast of Tenerife. We made a slow start but from noon today the wind has settled in the North and we are making steady progress to the South West.
2000 12th December Day 3. Bit of a tough day at the office. Wind generally from the North East but over a 60 degree range and blowing variously 4, 5 and 6. Now reefed down for the night but still making 7 to 8 knot. Noon to noon run 183 nm – generally in the right direction. As usual sleeping soundly is a problem this early in a passage. Two broken nights soon uses up the harbour sleep bank. Three or four porpoises dropped in for a chat after lunch; apparently they’re entered for the 2012/13 winter Atlantic synchronised swim competition. They gave a preview of their twin jumps and the old “three under the bow” routine. We have now seen a cargo ship en route Rotterdam and another yacht at a distance. Don’t know what he’s doing out here – must be mad!
2200 13th December Day 4. A poor night but a lovely day, a good chunk of which was spent sleeping. Noon to noon 176. And then we put the clock back one hour for the new time zone having crossed longitude 22 degrees 30’W during the previous day. Why 22 degrees 30’? Well a maritime time zone is 07 degrees 30’ either side of a meridian which occurs every 15 degrees 00’ (360/24). The prime meridian (00:00 – the place to start counting from) runs through Greenwich, hence GMT (or UTC if you buy French cars). So 07 degrees 30’W plus 15 degrees 00W is 22 degrees 30’W. Come to think of it we should have put the clock back at 07 degrees 30’W but we didn’t because Tenerife is in the International (i.e. Political) Time Zone Zulu and is therefore on GMT. Having missed a time zone we will be an hour out for the rest of this trip. So will we be an hour late everywhere (no change there then) or an hour early everywhere (oh ssoooo embarrassing)? Answers in a bottle to – where else; 37 degrees 30’W of course.