19:23.8N 47:33.5W Atlantic Blog 4

Madeleine and Martin
Sun 23 Dec 2012 12:22
2000 Thursday 20th Day 11   
Wind light from the East so a lazy day with a couple of long tacks. Noon to Noon 153 Zig Zag. This morning’s forecast showed the wind veering southwards but remaining light and that is indeed happening. So right now slow but on course for a change. “Veering” – wind moving clockwise round the compass; the opposite of backing. Not to be confused with veering a rope i.e. easing it out. Wind is always described by its geographic origin; unlike current which describes where it’s going. So earlier today we had an Easterly wind and a slight Westerly current both going the same way. Got to be able to talk the talk. Like to say that we can walk the walk as well but right now it’s more toddle the toddle!
2000 Friday 21st Day 12
A good day of light winds but great sailing. At 1600 crossed the “preferred track” and noted less than 1000 miles to go. Favourite _expression_ of the day –“Make spray while the sun shines.”
2000 Saturday 22nd Day 13
And it was all going so well.... Late Friday evening we crossed a squall belt or front well prepared with self tacker and two reefs in the main. Driving rain, an instant windshift of 40 degrees and gusts F7. September romped off due North making 9 knots plus for 45 minutes and then – nothing. No wind, maxi chop. All attempts to sail failed so engine on, and off we went in the wee small hours back on course. Then at 0120 disaster. We hit “something”, ran over “something” but either way we gathered “something” round the prop; massive vibration shakes the whole boat. An hour of checking every rope tail to make sure that nothing had gone overboard; reversing and alternate gentle forward gear followed. Finally gave up and limped away, engine off, full sail making 2 knots. By 0400 even that was impossible in a growing swell and variable F1 winds so we tried the engine again and found that we could motor slowly ahead at 2 knots without vibration. Time to call it a night; on course in tickover both of us went off watch to sleep; now that doesn’t happen very often. Shortly after dawn the attack was renewed with an hour of backing up, tight circles, forward, reverse and feathered until with a loud bang from below “something” gave up its hold on the prop and we were off; 6 knots, no wind, big swell. Relief could be bottled. No rush to record the Noon to Noon –117! And now the satellite internet access is playing up .... Anyone mentioning Day 13 will be keel hauled – as long as they stay away from the prop!
Dawn Sunday 23rd Still under engine. Hasn’t anyone heard of the trade winds down here! A very happy Christmas to you all and best wishes for the New Year.