14 December Friday the 13th

After the Gybe problem we had just before midnight Thursday, I was a little apprehensive about Friday! The night was not conducive to blog writing because the boat was crashing about all night. It wasn’t conducive to sleeping either. We had to steer a little off course to cope with the gybed mainsail which meant that the swell hit us from a squarer direction. Waves from I know not where came from an opposing direction, it was nasty. Other than the motion, it was a peaceful night (apart from John’s encounter with a flying fish), though the watch keeper had to keep an eye on the wind instruments to ensure no repercussion of the earlier gybe. The morning dawned bright and clear so we set about gybing the mainsail in a controlled manner so that we could get back on course. The amazing thing is, even sailing off course all night, we achieved 173 miles towards our waypoint. The sailing has been good all day, surfing down waves at 10 knots. It is not at all scary in daylight. One of the things we have been tracking is our position on the water in relation to all the other boats. Yet again we edged higher, which delighted us. On handicap only 16 boats should be slower than us and two of them are ahead though we are closing the gap slowly. I’m not sure we have enough miles left to go. The position on the water, however, is fairly meaningless because most of us have motored for some of the time and motoring carries a time penalty. If we hadn’t motored I doubt we would have arrived by the time the finish line closes on Friday! Nevertheless, seeing our average speed over 24 hours and our diminishing distance to destination pleases us enormously. We are now quietly confident of arrival before dawn on Monday. If the wind picks up and we are brave enough or stupid enough to hold on to the full mainsail, who knows? Sunday evening is possible. If the wind takes a holiday? Let’s not go there. Dinner was pan roasted chicken legs with potatoes, carrots, onions and tomatoes followed by a creme caramel. Joyce

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