Friday, December 30, 2005

Day 2/3

Position 1800 GMT 30 Dec 2005 24 degrees 01 minutes North, 18 degrees 50 minutes West. Just after we sent our day 1 update the wind started to gradually increase and increase as did the sea. Winds got up to 37 knots and seas 3/4 metres - not really what we had hoped for to say the least. We reduced our sails to handkerchief size and assisted the self steering system with any extra big waves. It's really important that we take such big waves on the stern quarter of the boat otherwise they could swamp us. We took it in turns and had a pretty intense night. Next morning it was still wild but when the sun came out the huge waves were actually beautiful and the ride was quite exhilarating now we were more used to it. By mid afternoon things had calmed down alot and we were able to relax a bit but every now and then a wave would just pop up out of no where. Andrew was snoozing in the cockpit and one landed right on his head - hilarious for me watching!! I've had my share too though - this morning my net holding our fruit for the trip broke and I was chasing apples all over the boat - nothing like a bruised granny smith I say! Then early evening last night we noticed that malcolm the monitor was not holding course. I took the wheel while Andrew investigated and found it was broken. The part we need is in the spares kit that arrived the day after we left the UK last month. This was not good news. Andrew hung off the back of the boat and removed the section affected but it was too late to do anything last night. We changed our course towards the Cape Verde islands 600 nm south and used Arthur the electric autopilot last night. Arthur is really not designed for ocean sailing but he did a great job and we both got some sleep. The alternative was hand steering all night - yuk! This morning Andrew chatted through our options on the radio with our friend John back in Las Palmas and then went absailing again. He managed to make a fix to the monitor and he's now back on the job and we are back on course for the Caribbean. Conditions today have been lovely - really nice sailing. Another yacht came by today - Spanish - they came right up to us while we were slowed for repairs to say hola and check we were okay. Ciao for now x


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