Back to the boat and back to sea

Sat 23 Nov 2013 09:19
Sat here just after dawn "35.02.409N 11.14.840W" reminds me why we set off on this adventure! Sailing along in 20 knots of wind with the Hydrovane steering and the sun rising into a clear blue sky is just perfect! This now marks the longest passage in terms of time that we have made, four days so far.
Admittedly we are four days out from Gibraltar and only just over half way and the wind is on the nose so we are only making 3 knots towards our goal of Funchal but it is still wonderful to be here.
The previous 24 hours....the wind topped 50 knots and we were surviving with a double reefed jib and double reefed main. Not fun at all but at least we have total confidence in Star Charger and her ability to make it safely through. Part at least of the problem is that one suffers sleep deprivation. It is hard to sleep when being bounced around, listening to the wind howling through the rigging, and then a cupboard pops open and disgorges it's contents....
Upon inspection today it appears that the only casualties are Kim, who scalded her arm with boiling water, the light for the Lifebouy which was lost overboard (I think it jumped I had been talking about replacing it!) and the bulb in the forward navigation lights.
I have finally managed to work out how to use the satellite phone and phoned Mother to tell her that we would probably reach Madeira on Monday....we won't! Sorry.....
A couple of days ago we saw a pod of dolphins complete with little ones which was great. Best news was that a friend of little bird turned up to check we were OK, saw that we were and flew off. I wonder if we should keep some food on board for these passing travellers, if you know what then please email me.
Off to make breakfast, take care and have fun
Love Alasdair. Gill, Habitat, Pickles and Star Charger

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