Underway 26:29N 18:15W

Sue & Alan
Thu 2 Jan 2014 12:02
Our first night being relatively calm has certainly helped get back into routines. We had the genoa poled-out during the day for few hours until boat speed fell consistently below 4kn - so donk on for time being, which lasted until 0400 when Ray put me on the shake at the end of his 4 hour watch. The yacht was noticeably energetic and Ray said the wind had progressively increased. So, off with the donk and out with our genoa (again). Now we we sailed and lovely and quiet it is too and remains so for now (hopefully). Just the one sail because the sea is bit wobbly & sloppy, which makes it difficult for us to follow our ideal course. Hence we're heading SSW towards Cape Verde Islands, expecting to gybe and head due west tomorrow or next day (hopefully).
The one fish squiddy attracted nearly too our rod, line and possibly might have been a bit of a problem (as mentioned in earlier blog). No other fishies have 'attacked' squiddy since. Fortunately we have lots of 'Chef Ray' prepared succulent meals to be getting on with so won't be starving.
More overcast this morning. 22ºC in cockpit and 25ºC below. Overnight temp fell about 4ºC less, which is not bad for this time of the year and much better than chez nous! Ray thinks our for'd cabin is bit unsettling (and this is despite not needing to sail into weather) so is thinking of dossing down on lower pullman berth tonight.
We now have much better signal quality & strength with Susan's Atlantic Crossing Group SSB net, now we are clear of local man-made interference sources. Cindy (s/y Godspeed) being one of our friends pleased to speak to Ray, from more than 2,000 NM away. s/y Gemini & Half Moon also welcomed us back on the net. SSB long-range radio communications are superb for ocean voyages, not only for chatting to friends, more importantly for safety (GMDSS) and for sending/receiving emails and weather info. Hence our means to update this blogg!!!!
We are fortunate to have some very nice Christmas cake with us, which Ray's Daughter-in-law 'Rackie' made specially and donated to our good cause. I don't normally eat Christmas-puddin'-type cakes although find this one very good. Can't stop Ray raving on about it!!!!! Oh yes, that reminds me, Ray doesn't aim well when disposing of organic refuse whilst sitting in cockpit if using his left hand. After such an experience Ray said "I'm not very good with my left hand you know". Fortunately I could see the tangerine peel all over the side deck so I instantly knew exactly what Ray meant! We share the chores and are getting along ticketeeboo. We are careful to avoid taking risks and talk through what needs doing before the execution!!!!
We've settled on a 1200 UT progress report, hence our first, ending 1200 UT today, will be for 28 hour run. It goes something like this........
# Shortest possible distance over ground (DOG) to Barbados at 0800 yesterday was 2605 NM
# Shortest possible distance over ground to Barbados (DTG) at 1200 today (almost now, give or take a nats nudger) is 2,448 NM
# Hence distance made good in last 28 hours = 157 NM. giving average Speed Over Ground Made Good (SOGMG) = 5.6 kn, which is pretty good for these sloppy conditions.
N.B. Short-hands will be used in future to save me fingers!!!
Love to S + R,M,S,T(who is in hospital for an op' today)J,P,F & S xxxxxxxxx as well S + J,P,S,A,A,J,P xxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxx R & A
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham = m0hng
At 02/01/2014 10:43 (utc) our position was 27°00.02'N 017°55.30'W