Good Progress Westwards

Flyer of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Wed 10 Dec 2008 11:29
14:52.49N 52:39.48W
Tuesday 09 December, Days Run 174NM
The steady NE F4-5 gave Flyer her best days run for 4 days and our progress was directly along tghe rhumb  line which was very satisfying. At 10:00hrs the breeze eased slightly to F4 and we hoisted our No 2 Gennaker to keep the boatspeed above 7knots.At 15:30 a further easing allowed us to douse the NO.2 gennaker and hoist our No.1 "Big Brother". This sail plan continued to give us excellent boatspeed and the forecast suggested we should keep this hoisted going into the night watches again which is what we did.
The downside to sailing so close to the equator is the long nights at more or less 12 hours. Compared to most of our nightsailing experience this is much longer than we are used to, there again the nightime  remains very warm and generally we have had a good deal of light from the moon and stars. We have managed to cover the nights with 5 2hour watches which has allowed everyone to get plenty of rest and we are all called out for sail ,changes. This has worked remarkably well on this marathon event. One aspect of being at sea for an extended time is that we are all very much used to the motion of the boat at sea. The danger with this is that we now all feel thet Flyer is hardly moving when she surfs from wave to wave in a F5 with the result that you can easily find yourself off balance when being called out at night which is definitely an extra risk. It is also important to keep focussed as with less than 500NM to run you feel nearly home and dry but there is still a lot of sailing ahead.
We passed 1 yacht to our South overnight and had 2 further "contacts" around 5NM ahead at the time of writing which implies we are still workinbg our way through the fleet.
The bimini has been in use earlier each day to give shade for the crew as the intensity of the sun increases and the daytime temperatures rise above 35C. We do keep getting reports of a big freeze back home but our main problem has been keeping cool in this heat!
We had the fishing line out yesterday with an unfortunate flying fish that had landed on Flyer's decks overnight being used as bait, however no bites on this occasion.
Dave Sturrock