Day 14 Lazy Dawn's Ocean Passage 4/12

Mon 5 Dec 2005 11:14
2 weeks ago today we left the Canaries, 2145 miles sailed and 915 to go.  Sunday is shower day, Peter and I are feeling fantastically clean and Chris is showering as I write. It's 8pm GMT and dinner over we are about to relax in the cockpit for a double viewing of '24', the last 2 episodes in this series - what will we do for sunset entertainment?!  The vacuum packed chicken has unfortunately not lasted the trip and stank so bad when Chris opened it this evening he nearly vomited!! Thank god for tinned chicken!
We had quite an eventful night, as we have finally moved westward enough to experience the odd shower or squall.  We are not too worried about the rain, but its the sudden increase in wind strength and often change in direction that can be an issue, especially as they always seem to loom up overnight.
The evening started with dark clouds looming just before dark, so we decided to change to the 'parasailor' which we are assured can tolerate strong gusts of wind, the hole allowing that extra wind to escape. This done, we also put a reef in and then waited and watched. Luckily it missed us. Feeling sorted, we settled in to '24' before starting the watches.  No day seems free of something going wrong, this time it was to be the navigational system. 'NO FIX' with an alarm.  This meant that we had no GPS (Global positioning system) giving us our Lat. and Long. Not a huge problem temporarily as we keep an up to date log and still had our compass bearing and speed. But more the issue that as always its dark, and all alarms are going off. Alarms eventually silenced, Chris and I leave Peter on watch. 30 min later a further reef is required and Chris offers to help Peter as I only have 2 hours before I am on watch. I wish I had got up to watch the scene.....Chris in only his underwear and lifejacket!! 
So, we had a conservative sail plan all night and all watched every approaching cloud with concern.  Not a relaxing night.  A huge gust during my watch left Peter in 'virtual' 3 feet under water in his port cabin, as we heeled, spinning into wind and dipping the boom in the water.  The alarms also restarted on my watch of I desperately tried to read the Raymarine manuals, not wanting to wake the boys,  a head thankfully poked out of the cabin window in the cockpit with instructions, thanks Peter......Later on his watch he also managed to get the navigation system working again, although he has admitted to not knowing quite how - I do like a bit of honesty occasionally!
The day sailing was steady and glorious. We surfed down waves with the kite up listening to '3 men in a boat'.  Quite appropriate and profound at times, although rather than crossing the Atlantic they are sailing/punting from Kingston to Oxford.......
Chris's parents left Gatwick this afternoon for St Lucia.  Quite strange to think they are up there soon to pass over us......
Thanks to my mum who sent the first Kingston SMS position report, now that they have taken over from the Dysons.
Now for a change to the 'night time' spinnaker (the parasailor) and the addition of a reef, then time for '24' !!