4 days completed and likely 4 to go, towards Ria de Muros 42:40N 019:38W

Sue & Alan
Wed 9 Jul 2014 12:04
Start of day 5 Noon on Wednesday 9th July 2014.
For past 24 hours we've been close-hauled heading as close to N as possible, sometimes speeding along at up 7kn and sometimes progressing slowly at less than 4kn as our wind speed goes up and down. We've been averaging 5kn so not so slow really. It would be more pleasant is we were close-reaching but needs must so we've been close-hauling on full gib and full mainsl. Wind has been mostly ENE F3-F4 and the seas a kindly 2'ish m swell. It's relentlessly overcast, occasional drizzle and looks to be unaltered for now. We've just reached same latitude as our intended destination, Ria de Muros, NW Spain, which is about 470NM due E of us. Unfortunately we can't steer thataway yet until the wind backs, maybe around midnight, hopefully bit sooner? So these last 24 hours we've been close-hauling N for 121NM, almost parallel with the Portuguese & Spanish Atlantic coastline but our 'distance made good' towards Ria de Muros is miserly 13NM. (Not a lot!). Indeed, I am unable to recall a single da
y when we've gone so far and yet so little towards our destination..... good eh? On the other hand......... we've been fairly comfortable on board, unaffected by the nasty gales between us and Portugal/Spain and we're ready to take advantage of more favourable winds soon as they change. Also, by the time we reach the area where these nasty gales are blowing now ............. they won't be there to greet us! Yesterday afternoon Sue almost threatened to inflict punish on me, when I answered "No, it's Greenland" to her question "Are we heading towards Ireland now then?"
We were set to have our evening meal to coincide with the start of the World Cup match, Brasil v's Germany and guess what. After having to listen to a load of build-up waffle BBC World Service 'dropped' the frequency minutes after kick-off. Finally able to get a weak signal on 909kHz at end of first half injury time, just finished washing-up. I looked at Sue to see if I had heard right because it sounded like 0-5 to Germany? Was able to listen to blokes waffling their way through the second half trying to make it more interesting. Maybe we will be able to get a signal for the whole of the Argentena v's Holland match tonight, without as much waffling?
My original estimate for reaching Ria de Muros needs to go back another day. We might get there late Sunday now? We'll see. Most importantly we want to get there without encountering 'orrible conditions along the way! It's looking like we'll have turned this 800NM passage into a +1,000NM masterpiece, which is a little longer than either of us really expected and we've put-back celebrating our 38th Wedding Anniversary (bottle of bubbly as well) until after completing the passage. We did swap cards though and now Sue thinks I've been raiding her hidden supply of on-board greetings cards, which was supposedly kept safely hidden from me! Also, before going to bed yesterday evening, Sue said to me "You know I haven't been outside in the cockpit all day today". Likelihood is, there will only be me that goes 'outside' today as well. And that will only be if I really needs to! One particularly good aspect about Ticketeeboo is that ocean passage watchkeeping can be done from inside our saloon
, limiting exposure to cold and rain for the likes of sail changes, inspections or muckin' about on deck by necessity. It was 17ºC outside overnight, always the threat of rain and being in the cockpit would have needed wearing oilies, boots, hat and lifejackets (attached), whereas we can watch-keep from the comfort of our saloon wearing shorts and T-shirt (oilies & lifejackets handy J.I.C.). So, life ain't so bad bobbling along here, even when it's a bit colder and damper than we want and even when being close-hauled doing a lot more miles!

Love to R,M,S & T and J,P,F & S. We hope to have emails from you soon eh?

PS Just given Sue our 24 hour 'scores' to which the reply was "I'll be an old woman by the time we arrive?" I better not reply!