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Another Marlin gets away...
Graham
13/12/2008, North Atlantic

Mark T's marlin got away the other day with hook, line and sinker, so it came as no surprise to me that whatever was on the end of my line pulling it out at lightning speed was also big. It also got my hook, line and sinker! Today will need to be a muppet production day from the remaining rubber glove fingers as we seem to now be totally out of lures. The muppet looks like a squid (apparently) and has the hook hidden inside with a weight. We tow them along behind us about 20 metres behind the boat and wait for a bite. Some days there is nothing, other days, the whole shabang is destroyed! Well, a small bit of lightning last night, a fairly steady wind, if not a bit on the light side, and we are still making our way to the Island of Rum....

The wind continues...
Graham
12/12/2008, North Atlantic

The good news is that the wind continues and we managed another day of 137 Nm over the past 24 hours. The sea has been interesting; a steady rocky motion, overlaid with a large Atlantic swell from the NE which, at times, has appeared to be at least 15 feet high. Most of the time though, it has been around the 10 feet mark. It is certainly impressive. We have had a few light showers, but nothing too dramatic which is also good news. Given that today is Day 19 of our journey, we had hoped to be in Saint Lucia by now, but the complete failure of this year's trade winds to arrive in time for the ARC has added a significant time onto our route. We now have about 680 Nm to go, and we are all looking forward to arriving after what will probably be about 24 days at sea, our longest ever passage for any of us. We had 2 egrets cadge a lift with us the other night and managed to sit on our genoa sheet (rope, for the non-nautical) all night, asleep, without falling off, which was very impressive! They then took off at sunrise, circled the boat a few times before departing towards South America as far as we could tell. Obviously looking for some warmer weather than Europe has to offer at the moment. Mark T inadvertently donated a winch handle to the deep last night, but other than that, no incidents to report....

Wind great, swell not so good...
Graham
11/12/2008, Mid North Atlantic

It was a great relief to have the return of the wind after a week of very little. Now we have the wind of course, the swell on the sea ('motion of the ocean' as we say) has built up quite a bit, a lot in fact. Last night it was between 10 and 12 feet with a few 'monsters' appearing from the dark. Luckily, they are not as bad as they may sound as they are not breaking waves, but it does make for a very bumpy ride, so no one got a very good night's sleep last night. The wind was up to 31 knots again last night at times, so sails were reefed in again back to the size of pocket handkerchiefs, but the good news is that we have covered just under 150 Nm in the last 24 hours which is the furthest QUASAR IV has ever managed in a 24 hour period, so we are very happy. It's 820 Nm to go now to Saint Lucia so we are quite certain now that if the wind keeps up, we will get to at least one ARC party before the event closes! Fishing has taken a back step at the moment as a number (ie all) of our lures and many hooks have now been eaten/stolen by creatures of the ocean, and given the size of the lures and hooks, we are glad we have not met with our contenders! It has also put us off swimming in the sea next time the wind stops! Anyway, time for our daily radio net to see how far we are behind everyone else again and have a chat with a few boats near to us.

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