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Date: 30 Jul 2014 15:24:00
Title: Unexpected problems with leaping lettuce 44:06.35N 008:34.5W

Dear Family and Friends,

Having had several busy watches last night avoiding shipping we have had a quiet day rolling our way to la Coruna. Fresh from another snooze on calmer seas we are making slower progress, the day is sunny and much warmer than the previous days. The surfing down walls of water have been replaced with a much gentler swell, getting the cruising shute up provided a 40 min burst of activity and a much needed boost to our progress as winds have lightened.

The night time shipping proved a nuisance causing several course alterations as they often don’t alter course for small craft, always tricky if the wind direction means you have to jybe the boat, (go through the wind and reset the sails,) in the dark single handed or to stay on the wind going towards a crossing track, difficult choice, my closest encounter came within .4nm having altered course 5 degrees to avoid him. Thats close enough in the dark! I realised I could also stop but managed to avoid this.

Imagine my joy when coming off watch at 12.00am to plot our position on the chart that I could turn the chart over and make the plot within sight of the Spanish coast, (on the chart not literally!) Wonderful nearly there-ish, I can report at this time we are some 40 miles or so to go.

Yesterday’s al-fresco dining in force 4 winds proved unexpectedly challenging, not only did the rolling and pitching create a comedy of catch reactions despite non slip matting, the lettuce was particularly aerodynamic. Alan’s solution was to plaster it in mayo, whilst effective does nothing for the waistline! Preparing supper was no less elusive with Derek getting the better of some unco-operative onions. We dined on Moroccan fish with couscous and roasted peppers, given the pitching, I think this goes someway to extreme dining credentials!

Our wildlife tally is up as well, sea birds drop by, a very tentative name suggested we have sighted storm Pectrals, whatever they were they swoop in gracefully at an arms length from the rails at eye level, give you a good look over and accelerate past you to fly so close to the wave tops they disappear momentarily from view. Such a virtuoso display of flying skills. More dolphins too, one came over from a larger group to investigate our bow wave but it wasn’t up to further play as we were making slower speed but more exciting we were passed within a few hundred feet by a group of north going whales, we could only see their small fountains of water from their blow holes so guess they were relatively small, thank goodness.

In closing its almost time to start cooking again……hopefully tomorrow’s evening meal will be in la Coruna.

All our best, Lynne, Alan and Derek

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