Kath's grand day out

Global Yacht Racing's P42
Global Yacht Racing
Sat 20 Sep 2008 10:04
40:34.0N 9:36.9W
So, enough of the experienced skipper's words.  Here are a few (!?!) from a landlubber aboard, it's Kath here.
It's my first time aboard a boat that's not moored in a marina at night and out of sight of land. The intrepid office worker offshore!
Of the boats and routes to choose for a first offshore passage, it's interesting.  The boat has the least options for a comfy seat on deck ever and the option to slide off the back with ease, bar thin wires, sorry - 'guard rails'!  That said the inside has the 'most' comfy bed/hammock (lee-cloth) bunks in the world as a compensation.
And the chosen route - the infamous Bay of Biscay, potential sea-sick city being, quote Kate, 'rough as rats'! Not sounding like my best decision ever, however with a reputation for flat calm or high seas with luck heavily on my side our crossing has had good breeze and been uneventful in weather respects.

So, reading the blog to date , it's true that we have had an excellent set of weather for Biscay.  But hang on, that said, for us inexperienced in these things for a 'flat sea' (quote Paul) I see 2 metres of rolling swell coming up behind us, that changes when we go over the continental shelf into deep water to much longer waves.  Kinda cool, kinda rolly-around, glad the bunk is half hammock eh!
But enough of my ramblings, our news here. As I write we are heading on a course of 185 degrees towards Cascais after an excellent day yesterday.  The other watch started the trend of wildlife with jumping squid at the bow.  Next, at the end of our watch we had dolphins swimming on the bow a while.  With 15-18 knots of north-easterly we continued to sail on a very broad reach, but as the breeze dropped skipper Ric showed me the ropes for setting a spinnaker.  I now know the difference between a sheet and a guy and was dead impressed with the result!
Having the boat sailing flatter and slower, Skip runs a line off the back with some top fettling (thanks for that elastic line Owen!) for a spot of fishing.  We, sorry, Ric, manages later to land a Spanish Mackerel which is then artfully prepared without blunt instruments (to kill it) or sharp knives in the dark - glad of my fish filleting skills all of a sudden.
As our sunny day continues we have a whale sighting, porpoise passing and dolphins fishing off the bow in the nav lights after dark, fish jumping all over the place.  By this point we were motoring steadily south at 7 knots and the dolphins just darted back and forth and tearing off ahead of us - quite a turn of speed on them!
So that was our day with one final image to share.  The spinnaker was still up after dark and the wind was dropping as we were hacking a poor half-concussed fish on the deck.   So the experienced spinakkerites run around the millions of ropes on deck with me sat amongst the fray with a filleted chunk of fish sat in a frying pan artfully balanced in the cockpit.  Al well worthwhile - he made a great breakfast fried in that very same pan.