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Date: 18 May 2014 05:27:00
Title: Things that go bump in the night 33:48N 060:33W

We continue to sail in lively, very lively seas. Possibly some of the biggest seas I've seen. Before dusk we were thinking 'these seas look like they're bigger than 5m' and in the moonlight, which flicks & peeks between cloud from time to time, we're thinking 'these seas feel like they're bigger than 5m' and every now & then 'we bang big-style'. I've just spent 3 hours being vertically tossed up and down without getting anywhere near l, m or n, never mind making ZZZZ's!
During the afternoon, we changed sails from genoa & full mainsl, then reefed genoa, then replaced genoa with jib, then reefed mainsl (further & further). By late afternoon we had jib + 3 reefs in mainsl and just before dusk we also reefed our jib (first time for couple of years). Since then we're on reefed jib + 3 reefed mainsl and still regularly seeing topside of 8kn, sometimes 9kn. We're not over-canvassed because we have minimum weather helm and only very slightly healed. Port tack in N'ly winds throughout. This could be fun in the short term but we're in it for the long haul and will be pleased when we get some 'relief' - maybe in couple of days? In meantime suppose we should be grateful we're moving along very nicely towards Azores. We just have to be so, so careful moving around the yacht, 'specially in the dark. We're taking regular forecasts and are very grateful to Paul for sending more additional & succinct synoptic text updates. We're able to use these to adjust our cours
e and avoid worst of the storms and gales, being caused by Low pressure systems to our N & E, 500NM away. Believe me, we would not like to be too close to the really strong winds closer to centre of the Low - it's severe conditions in those parts and lots worse than we're taking hereabouts. The good news is.......... decks are kept plenty wet and look lovely, sails are working wonderfully well, meals are good, everything in fridge is very cold and even making ice in evaporator box, meals are very good (thank you Annie), the sliced raison loaf I picked-up at the supermarket in St Georges makes lovely toast (sort of flat hot-cross bun-like bread, we're making great speed so this should be a top-performing 24 hours stint.
The frying pan, bought couple of years ago in Marina de Ragusa, is now some 5,000m below sea-level - the fishies are welcome to it but they better not moan about it not having any handle! The washing machine is on - full of smalls - which are probably going to be hanging to dry inside the yacht to avoid being vastly assalted. We're all getting along fine and will do our best to stay fit and healthy - in these exceptionally lively conditions.
Much appreciate the love, support and patience of My Lover. Send very best wishes to Freya, who is two years old tomorrow and starts celebrating today xxxxxxxxxx (I remember getting Jennifer's text announcing Freya's timely arrival in the early hours two years ago, whilst I was sailing alone in S Ionian - in the rain!)
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham callsign = m0hng
At 18/05/2014 04260 UT our position was 33°48'N 060°33'W
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