I see no ships. 13:34 N 54:00 W

Sue & Alan
Sat 18 Jan 2014 14:05
2100: In our haste to get last blog out on time we were a little late organising our meals for the day. As it happened we liked them both! Earlier in the morning I stripped my aft cabin bed and put the sheets & pillow cases in the wash. By late afternoon one of us was convinced everything was dry enough so I'll be in clean sheets tonight. No! I'm not gonna iron the sheets! I'm gonna personally press-em in shape. I'm fortunate because our aft cabin bed is massive so I can sleep on alternate sides and get twice as long between washing sheets. The next wash will be the day before My Lover arrives!
We've had two sails up-front and now one sail up front. The sails are not the problem..... it is the large seas & big holes they produce. With two sails, unless we have stronger winds (F6) we just can't keep them full in these seas. So we have to go down to just our poled-out genoa, which is a little slower and just off desired course, needing the odd gybe or two, from time to time.
We're now beginning to think about our destination because we could arrive in 3 days time. Maybe 20th? Time to read the pilot book instructions so that we have good knowledge on potential hazards and approaches. It could be dark? If it is it will be 'Q-flag' hook-in, celebrate & sleep until after sunrise. Ray thinks we might be too wobblies when we first set foot on land again? Once checked-in we will have to sort a good boat wash, amongst other things before we try our first local rum-punch!
JUst before sunset, Ray described a certain unforgettable hazzard each time he gets out of bed in the for'd cabin. He says the bed is too high to sit on and has difficulty putting hi skiddies on when everything's moving and he's still half asleep. He say's it's a major task getting each let in the right hole at the right instant in time. Something he has never practiced for before now. He described some sort of pirouette jump to get the first leg surrounded by cloth, followed by a moment or two to regain delicate balance ahead of the final 'leg-over' hop & twist to ensure a satisfactory result for his second leg. All carried out in what he loosely describes as 'an upright condition', next needing a sustained vertical lift to locate his undercarriage securely before moving on, ready to repeat most of this delicate operation to get his shorts on top.
0500'ish: When I handed over to Ray at 2400 we had been sailing on poled-out genoa for several hours and during last 3-4 hours we were regularly seeing 7 kn often 8 kn or more. Lively? Yes! We were not getting as knocked about though and Ticketeeboo was taking everything in her stride sailing almost effortlessly. Can this last for long because it's very good? When Ray took over he was well aware and quite excited at the prospect of a good watch. When he put me on the shake at 0400 I was a little groggy with tiredness because deep sleep does not come any easier even when we're sailing brilliantly like this. Plenty movement, although the sudden lurches like when we're wallowing in lighter winds. Ray was quite excited saying how well she is sailing and that she had run 30NM in the last 4 hours! (An average of a nats nudger short of 8kn) To awake my senses I decided to sit in the cockpit and watch as we semi-surfed our way towards the west, if not just 100 NM or so south of our destinati
on. No problem there. Enjoying the view with the moon almost at its zeneth in a sky with no heavy clouds about. Like in my earlier watch I could even see moon shadows again! This is wonderful and I'm beginning to wake-up and feel good. Maybe even have a little doze with clock-timer round my neck? Oh no I'm not! Ray had said during his watch the wind occasionally gusted into the 30's (F7) for short bursts and our set-up handled it fine - unpeterbed. I had not touched anything but we were now heading due N (instead of due W) and the wind's on wrong side of our sail and it's blowing some! Our auto-pilot is now sacked and I'm now on the wheel. It's blowing a lot and for a moment I need to take-in what's happening and what's needed to be done? Answer - choose right way to turn the boat and get the wind back on our port quarter and keep it there. Of course I have no visual horizon to work with, just the compass and the wind instrument (which I am dubious about until I know I can trust it
again). At a reliable 230'ishº compass heading, and with wind coming over my back and left shoulder Ticketeeboo starts to settle again. A long 'press' on the nearest instrument 'display' button illuminates our instruments to maximum and I can now see our apparent wind is high 20's so we're still seeing F7 shortly after reducing low 20's/F6. Autopilot 'ON' steady as she goes (Cpt Blythe Ha! Ha! Ha!). Now I think we'll keep our autopilot on 'heading' not 'wind' for a while. Good as gold since! So what happened? "These things can happen!" I guess we took a gust which screwed us round to stbd a little further past the point where the wind gulped on wrong side of our sail creating an additional turning moment which our rudder was unable to correct in time. That would account for us suddenly & unexpectedly veering to stbd. Just goes to show, when your having fun you can have too much fun as well!!! We're now settled again, seeing 7 - 8 kn and having a wonderful sail, almost in the very di
rection towards our destination and its so good! Sleep is not compulsory and will have to wait a little longer. Genny on a while to charge batteries and an early morning tangerine to zest me up a bit?
At 0800, when Ray re-surfaced from his 'cabin without sleep' I told him about my playtime incident in the dark. He said "I thought so! I was flung against the hull and then all over the place and I wondered what was?". We each have a lorra confidence in the watchkeeper on this yacht!
1100: Very overcast and has mostly been so since early daybreak. Latest forecast providing confirmation we can expect good trade-winds for what's left of our ocean passage. We'll be flogging clocks again today and tomorrow. We're gonna do it in the afternoon because we're gonna use the extra hour each day for some quality ZZZZZZZZZZZZ's.
1200: n last 24 hours we have shortened our distance to Barbados by 160NM so our distance to go is now 331Nm and we have logged/sailed 162NM through the water. Pretty good for to wobbly middle aged codgers needing to makes ZZZZZs this afternoon!
Bacon & egg between toast for lunch (coming-up next)!

Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham callsign = m0hng
At 18/01/2014 11:28 UT our position was 13°34'N 054°00'W