Leg 2: Part 3

Thursday.
After the shenanigans of the previous 24 hours, Thursday remained windy, with us trimming more for the sake of the auto pilot than any sailing efficiency. Only two things to note, went to plot our position at 7.00pm and found that the main plotter wasn’t getting a position, gulp, have the Americans got something planned? Checked my iPad, phew working perfectly and the Mickey Mouse repeater in the cockpit is working, so a problem with the main unit.
I couldn’t let Andras sit through New Year on his own, so got back up at ten to twelve and had a coffee party in the cockpit. Wanting to add a bit of zest to the occasion I opened the naughty locker, where we keep all things necessary for boys and girls to be naughty. I made my choice and asked Vicky what she wanted, a little coy smile, quick look to see if Andras was listening, then she said “chocolate digestives”, crest fallen I put my choice back, I suppose we can have Jaffa cakes another night.

Friday.
More of the same, still very rolley, however the boat was looking after itself. I have managed to check the alarming rate which I have been going through novels on board, by picking up a door stop called the history of Jerusalem, I’m only a couple of charters in, but it already sounds like Nidri with less sex.

We are using a passage chart which in the North starts at Lisbon and finishes in Freetown, Sierra Leone. A small cross marking your LAT and LONG covers an area of a couple of hundred square miles. It’s interesting though, on leaving the Canaries we would have a position marked every twelve hours. Looking at the chart with 200miles to go, the plots are so close together that it looks more like one of those WW2 maps, showing anti tank defenses along the Siegfried Line, anticipation I guess.

Sail came up astern at about 3.00pm, as we were going for the slow and easy straight downwind, aiming for 120nm per day, these guys were banging the corners, i.e.sailing on a broad reach much faster, but having to cover more distance. At around 8.00pm they were heading west straight for us, rather than second guess whether they would pass ahead or astern, I called on lower power VHF “yacht on my Port side this is Lady SeaBreeze.” You are having to rely on common sense that the other boat will twig on that they have also not seen anybody in days, so most likely it’s the boat ahead of them. We were rewarded instantly by a chirpy Aussie, changed down to channel 10 and got the altering course conversation out of the way.

“Can you go to starboard 5 degrees and I will go to port 5 degrees.” Sorted nice, easy and seaman like. After that it was the gossip hotline. Where from, where bound, how many days out, swell been terrible etc. They had mum, dad, mate and their 5 year old onboard, having spent days gybing South, before they closed with us, they had just completed their final gybe, then two weeks over to Antigua. Really nice 15 minutes chewing the fat with basically a speaking navigation light, as we could see nowt else, then off on our separate ways. After we signed off, Vicky and I had a half hour comparison post mortem and before you know it, another hour has gone by. There’s really not enough hours in the day for this lark.

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