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Good Progress!

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Day 2. Thursday morning is much nicer. Yesterday was good for progress but bad for expletives. Monday night I was up every hour to have a lookout and tend the sails, the wind picked up to a Force 6 and with 2 reefs we were rounding up quite a bit, I thought I’d see how we were on only the genoa (this because I’d neglected to put in the third reefing line when putting in the second reef so had to drop the sail in any case) and we were fine and much more comfortable, still making hull speed so the latter part of the night was under only the genoa. The sea was quite big and on the port quarter so we were pitching and rolling quite heavily, hence the expletives. I’ve not found my sea legs yet. Down below sleeping it was quite cold, I was in all my clothes and two sleeping bags to stay warm, starting the night with one bag was not sufficient, mind you it is a summer sleeping bag. I think I need to pick up some long johns having not thought I’d need them, once I’ve trousers on and two pair of oilskins it’s not enough to keep my legs warm when just sitting.

In the morning I put the main up with 2 reefs and then poled out the genoa on the port side which is quite effective as the mainsail gets in the way of the genoa downwind from around 130 to 180 degrees and the genoa is a much bigger sail.

We made good progress through the day but it was very uncomfortable with the motion and lack of sea legs.

I had some porridge made with sea water for breakfast and it’s a bit too salty so I’ll go 50/50 in future (I had macaroni cheese on Tuesday evening with the pasta cooked in seawater which was fine), porridge and tea for breakfast, I’ve not felt like a coffee yet, soup from a tin for lunch in one of the fantastic mugs that Blondie gave to Daddy when he bought Salmo, they’re 60s nylon jobs and have a broad base and hold about a pint and a half so a full tin of soup in one is only about half full which is ideal when it’s bouncy. Yesterday involved some gybeing to avoid or hit the appropriate traffic separation scheme lanes but we’re now clear to Land’s end and I’ll likely take the inshore passage there. I’ve not had a telephone signal since Tuesday evening although, somehow, a text message from Brian appeared on my phone mid morning, I don’t understand how, as the phone was on aeroplane mode (which it needs to be for talking to the satelite phone) and I had no signal in any case. It’s possible that it came in on tuesday and I missed it but the thing says 1003 today. (Looking at it again it still says 1003 today so that maybe explains it).

Last night was much more peaceful with no sail changes and just one gybe at dawn after we’d come through the traffic scheme in St David’s channel and we’re now in some sunshine with cumulus clouds over around the 3/8ths of the sky and the batteries charging nicely.

I didn’t start the engine on departure and haven’t run it at all yet, the batteries and charging panels are coping nicely with the load including the fridge. The first day was largely cloudy but there was a break in the clouds in the late afternoon and the batteries quite quickly came up to nearly full again.

Yesterday I had a fright, a tug had just passed heading North and I smelled a funny smell. Initially I thought it had come from the tug but thought I’d better investigate it, I went down below and it seemed stronger, and possibly smelled like hot electrics, this had me worried, I thought it might be the batteries but lifting the engine cover all smelled sweetly in there, I was about to turn all the electrics off when I noticed that the gas was on minimum under the kettle but had blown out. I turned this off and the smell quickly disappeared. Hopefully that was it but the stove has a cut out so that if there’s no heat it should cut out in any case and there’s also a gas alarm which should sound before it becomes noticeable nasally. In any event we’ve had no problems or funny smells since.

I’m going to stop now and get a forecast and send this. I don’t think I’ll get a phone signal till lands end and that’ll be in the middle of the night but I need to book a hire car for Monday, stupidly I’d left it in case I made poor progress and didn’t make it to Plymouth in time. I’m wondering whether Guido on Hannah of Cowes has left Gibraltar yet he had put in for repairs to a fraying halyard and I thought he’d be leaving after the weekend, but he hadn’t the last time I’d seen.

Slainte all


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