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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
A couple of visitors

12 May 2011

Can't believe that the wind completely died for a few hours today and we even had to put the engines on for a wee while. Glad to report, it has come back again, but only about 16 knots - perfect for spinnekars, if only we had one! However, never a dull moment on Pegasus. Mark and I spotted a strange looking creature - bright pink/purple with an inflatable 'sail.' We didn't know what it was, but as the engines were running at the time, we turned the boat round to follow it. Lochy recognised it as a Portuguese man of war, having seen a picture on the front of the 'toxic and venomous marine life of the world' book. Then, after his visit, we got another visit, this time a low fly-by from the Columbian Coastguard, not once, not twice, but four times. Mark tried to hail them on the radio, but they didn't reply. Just now, as Whit was bringing in the lure (he has this strange idea that garlic on the lure will catch more fish) at the end of the day, a little fish almost as big as the lure itself jumped on his line. He was very cute, so we rescued him and put him back where he belonged. Whit is now claiming his garlic lure does work, however, I'm after a slightly bigger variety for the pan. Oh, and we've put the clocks back another hour, as Whit was complaining he didn't get to see the sunrise on his shift anymore! Current position: 12.34.10N 72.53.59W

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The fish that got away

Hmm, after yesterday's blog saying how Mark wouldn't like to re-stitch the spinnekar, we are very sad to report the loss of our beloved spinnekar for a second time. She ripped in a completely different place and under light conditions, so we think she was just tired and old. We don't regret the past four days we've had with her as the sailing's been great fun and we'll miss her bright colours and beautiful looks. Sniff. We're just about half way to our destination that we have decided will be the San Blas islands. We've been reading about them and they look too good to miss. I have a sneaky feeling that if we were to go straight to Panama, we might not be inclined to go back the way we came to visit them, and apparently the immigration people are much nicer there than in Colon. So, we have about 3-4 days sail left on this leg of our trip. Mia's been like a little barometer and picked up on the fact that the swell was coming form a different direction, so has been feeling a little sick today, but at least the trip will be shorter than we originally thought (fingers crossed!)
We put out the lure today as we are down to our last bits of fresh meat, a couple of hours later the reel went whizzing, but before Whit or I could get to it, the line had snapped, so obviously a biggy; we saw some big fish jumping right out of the water just a bit later, just before another dolphin show. It's getting darker later and so soon we will put our clocks back by another hour to be in time with Panama. Now that it's dark, we'll reef down and change direction as we go round the corner, changing from a westerly to a south westerly direction. Current position: 13.00.47N 70.51.69W

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A great day's sail

10 May 2011
We had lovely sailing conditions these last few days and are averaging 120nms a day, which is pretty good for us. The winds have either been light - 12ish - so we can fly our spinnekar and go in the desired direction, or 20ish when we have had to take the spinnekar down (after last trip's lesson of not being greedy and tearing the whole sail) and go maybe a little faster but in the wrong direction. This whole vmg (velocity made good) means it's quicker to go off the rhum line on a faster point of sail, but psychologically, I just like going in the right direction with the spinny flying. We were all reluctant to take the spinnekar down at sunset, but again, we've learned our lesson from the previous experience and Mark would prefer not to have to sew the whole length of the sail again. Our rudders seem to be holding up well, if the autopilot is anything to go by. He seems very happy. Also, our water filter is wonderful - the water tastes great and that's from me who is very fussy when it comes to water. Mia was disappointed when she found out today that the water was only a filter and not a desalinater, that question coming after enquiring why we were using sea water to wash the dishes. Mark has had to make some minor repairs to the duogen and so we are happy that that is working again. We all really like our watch system and are getting into a routine of sleeping in the day to catch up. We've now gone past Bonaire, so are heading straight for Panama. Current position: 12.54.23N 68.40.90W

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Liberation Day on Pegasus

Jersey's Liberation day (liberated from Occupation by Nazi Germany during the Second World War) was spent on Pegasus by eating Jersey bean crock and Jersey royal potatoes. I don't know why I cooked bean crock because only Mia likes it, but I forced everyone to eat it anyway, because I had bought the beans with me from Jersey and was chuffed that I could actually find them today! The Jersey royals were disappointing, largely because they were the tinned variety, however, Mark's meal of roast chicken and fresh veg with them was delicious.
It's been a very quiet day, with little wind (10 knots) Nevertheless, we are using the spinnekar and traveling in the right direction, and even had a brief visit from dolphins again. We've averaged 120nMs per day which is none too shoddy. I have had my first complaint with my new crew. He has won every Backgammon game we have had since he arrived and I am not happy. Does he not know he has to let me win just occasionally just to keep me happy? I'm holding my tongue at the moment, but I'm not sure how long it will be before I have to let him know the rules of the boat. Otherwise, he's very handy on board and has an uncanny capability of talking for one minute on any subject without repetition, hesitation or umming or errring, a game we have recently started to play. Lochy is also good at this game, as long as the subject is dragons or Harry Potter. Anyone who knows me well, knows I can't play this game as I mostly can't finish my sentences, a habit that drives Mark mad. Mark, Whit and the kids are star spotting at the moment with the help of our new constellation book -we've had a couple of amazingly clear nights - long may it continue!

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05/10/2011 | mom and pops
To smooth sailing! We can wait to hear all about it. The stars must be incredible.
Whit's first full day's sail

8 MAy 2011

And he's still alive! In fact, he's had a very gentle, lovely introduction to long-distance sailing. Yesterday, we had light winds and so were motor sailing with just our genoa out. Then this morning, there was just enough wind for our spinnekar, so we have had all sorts of different combinations of sails today, with spinny just been taken down now it's sunset. Wind has picked up slightly to a lovely 20 knots and so we are thoroughly enjoying good sailing conditions. Our watch sytem is 4 hours on 8 hours off. I have the easy watches 6-10am/pm Mark has 10-2 and Whit 2-6am/pm. We sold the hardest watch well to Whit, saying that he gets to see both the sunset and the sunrise and went on about how wonderful it was to be by yourself at night with only the stars for company!
When the boys were sleeping this morning, Mia, Lochy and I had a water fight on the trampoline which was a lot of fun, cooled us down and I even managed to get some of that soapy stuff they call shampoo on the kids' hair. Lochy said "it's really nice to be back at sea, isn't it mum?" and Mia has been pleased that she hasn't felt sick at all because the swell is behind us. Happy days. Current position: 12.21.26N 64.24.79W

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touch and go but eventually go

7 May 2011
We have officially left Grenada! Mia announced on the radio net in the morning that we were leaving today. Touch and go for a while as to whether we would actually leave. Each small job took much longer than anticipated, with me at the top of the mast for at least an hour trying to feed a halyard back into place. Then, off to Rikky and Kim's to clean up all signs of Mark having worked there for the past couple of weeks. We bought the rudder back to the boat, once again Whit and Mark jumped in whilst I guided it in from the top. Tried to get the bolt in. Didn't line up. In a quiet aside to Whit, I remarked "don't be surprised if we don't leave today" (it was already 2pm.) But Mark clearly had other ideas and pointed out the bearing at the top wasn't in place, adjusted it and pheeeeeyou the bolt fitted in snug as a proverbial bug. So, off to customs, fuel and water berth to fill up. All of us showering whilst the water was going in, so we could top up our tanks again, and then, at 4pm, we left Prickly Bay. I don't think Whit could actually believe we had left. I don't think I could. We've settled into a watch system (more on that tomorrow) but I am tired, have just come off watch, so am off to bed, as I will be up again at 4am. Night night all. Position: 12.09.05N 62.16.98W

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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