Blog update Saturday 5th Sept

Slipstream Web Diary
Bill Cuthbert
Sun 6 Sep 2009 06:50

blog update composed in the cockpit with James, Tom, Nick, Billy &
Baines the comms whilst making 4.22 knots in 8 knots of wind comingat 90
degrees over the port bow at 3 ish on Saturday afternoon.
The spinnaker has been up and down becaaue there wasn't quite enough
wind to fly it with the Atlantic swell. We're half way down the french
coast (well offshore over the edge of the continental plate, the depth
meter says 21.4 M but it's flashing. Depth here should be 2000m. The sea
conditions are quite different with an atlantic swell...not waves that
break but peaks & troughs on the water. Drinking tea & consuming an
excellent succulent fruitcake, the flapjack all having been enjoyed
through cold night watches.

Could you add to the earlier submission that Mike had advised that we
didn't depart Teignmouth on the day that we sailed from Teignmouth to
Salcombe but his call came too late, after we were over the bar (& to be
fair all the phones were turned off, in what may be seen as a suboptimal
approach to

So on Thursday afternoon (4ish) despite a reasoanbly stiffish breeze in
Salcombe, we fuelled up (boat and crew - crew had cornish pasties 4 of
which were seen again) watered up and motored out over the bar to have a
look at the conditions with the third reef in. Despite rough condtions
(wave height up to 8 M) and a force 7 we kept on going, motor sailing
for a few hours so we could go where we wanted to rather than where the
wind wanted us to.
Through the night we turned the engine off unfurled the foresail and
sailed reasonably comfortably until a fall in the wind lead us to unfurl
the genoa fully. That bit was ok, but then when the wind fell still
further the Skipper & Baines attempted to shake out the reefs they
discovered (after ripping the front off the mainsail) that the cars had
fallen out of their track on the mast through the night. Some thought
was given to going to port to jury rig it, but she sailed reasonably
well with the third reef in so on we went well wide of Ushant (after a
little motorsailing to avoid a traffic separation zone). We got to this
point through Friday afternoon On turning south (heading 220 ish) the
waves improved, the wind was in a better position and sailing was much
more comfortable. Friday night's conditions were resoanbly settled with
all the crew (bar Tom who is struck low with whatever Lurgy had taken
out Nick) consuming the chef's special of mashed potatoes and tinned
mince reminding all of school dinners. We'd a visit from some little
dolphins around this time.The night was lovely, but cold with a glorious
sunset and sunrise, with Nick & Baines on watch for both. At one time
there were no other boats or airplane or any other evidence of any othe
human activity.
Around 6 ish on Saturday morning, the absent wind and swell knocking the
wind out of the sails led to the crew firing up the engine and
motor-sailing. Through much of the day the wind has been too light
(especially with 3 reefs in!) so we've been lolling around in the swell
making 3-4 knots. Comfortable but slow and all seem well or recovering
(Tom seemingly healed by the regenerative properties of fruitcake).The
captain's attmept to improve morale lead ot him ordering that all should
clean thier teeth, an order almost universally obeyed.
After 4 days, characters are beginning to emerge amongst the crew: Nick
clad in leather & sheepskin flying jacket, does a passable impersonation
of Group Captain Gibson (Dambusters). At the height of his swine flu
fever, he could be seen strolling the foredeck convinced he was walking
nigger. We cannot bear to tell him that Nigger died at the end of the
film and will not do his business on the foredeck.

Handrail (fixed)
Mast track for mainsail
Our liking for Cornish pasties from Salcombe

Special events:
Through most of last night we were accompanied by a succession of
porpoises/dolphins/and other cetaceans which seemed too large to be
dolphins or porpoises bouncing around the boat

James following the elder Baines (although absent, his spirit lives on
on the boat) by performing his morning ablutions over the back of the
boat a feat that has yet to be replicated by any other memeber of the
crew. James claims a new adaptation of the original technique which he
will apprise the master of.......(details removed at the censor's