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Time Bandit
Foggy Days
06/05/2008, 41.45.9'N 64.13.7'W

5th June
(From Anne - Dad wants distance run from your log each day. Are you doing noon sights yet???)
So do we. Log is bust so we can only do dist run retrospectively from GPS coordinates. Probably going to screw our astro work. Haven't seen sun for 2 days. Currently in thick fog, motoring and we've only scratched the surface of the trip. Just had brekky. Dougie eating muesli as we're out of bacon and conserving gas.
Time Bandit 5th June 08:30 local 41.45.9N 64.13.7 W
What a difference a day makes. We've been sailing in the influence of the Gulf Stream which has been pushing us north and that, coupled with head winds meant we were effectively tracking for the UK. Once darkness fell we got a fantastic show of phosphorescence with every breaking wave top lit like neon in pitch blackness. (Total cloud and no moon yet). About 2am we crossed a distinct line, from north easterly Gulf Stream to southerly Arctic currents. In 20 yards the difference in currents shifted our track from UK to Azores. Unfortunately, the cold water from 't north hitting the warm south east air meant in that same 20 yards we sailed into a blanket of fog. We've sailed all night in 15-20 knots in heavy rain that has only just let up. 08:30 local and the fog (and the dolphins) is still here but no useful wind so we're currently motoring at 5kn on 105M direction Azores. Forecast for later is 20 - 25 knots from NE so if that comes we should get a good blast. Unfortunately, the heavy rain is showing up the leaky bits and there's a bit of water, mostly down the mast from a bodged seal by our rigger. Yesterday evening we changed to single watches with one on and one stand-by (we'd been standing watches in pairs so far) so everyone is now getting well rested. Looking forward to some sunshine though. When we plot our wee noon position or look at our position on the chart there seems a long way to go. All is well ha harr!

Whale Dodging
06/04/2008, 41 33.2'N 65 51.1'W

Woke up last night about 2am flying airborne across my bunk, landing in the lee cloth as Ian and Dougie had us steaming eastwards at 9 knots. Pretty busy day yesterday surrounded by and chased by dolphins for hours. Same again this morning. Highlight; the shoal of fish the dolphins were chomping on was also the dinner table for a pod of hump backs - big tails, "thar she blows and everything". Woke up again at 06:00 to thick fog as we left the warm, 250ft Boston shelf waters and entered 3000ft colder Atlantic. This morning, as the fog cleared only slamming the wheel down saved us running down a sleeping humpback. Passed within 50yards. We've passed out first waypoint on en route to "P" at Lat 40N Long 60W where we'll take a left for the Azores. Gas consumption way ahead of plan so microwaving stuff to conserve. Fuel and water still at 4/4 in tanks. Duogen, towing generator is pumping in the amps so we're OK for power. Also out of 12oz steaks! Arteries hardening by the minute.
All OK, bit slow apart from really charging along last night. All getting enough sleep and morale OK. Down a bit because of the gas deal but consumption has been high and left on three times by accident plus we spent 6 days in port and should have refilled. Learning a lot!

First Morning
06/03/2008, 42 12.53'N 68 50.3'W

Good morning. First night at sea and all went pretty much OK. Ellen MacArthur has gone up in all our estimations. Perfect intro to Atlantic sailing (ish). We had to motor for fist 45 miles/ 12 hours and, about 04:20, just as we were getting wind; 10kn from south east, the engine temp alarm sounded. We shut down, put up the rags and have been sailing in calm seas and now sunshine for last 5 hours. Everyone is happy, Phil is about to look at the engine (poor man is now Dan the engineer). Forecast for today is 10kn form SW dropping to 5 tomorrow then 25 on 5th.Bacon and eggs for brekky, Ian in the master suite watching a movie. All going great, boat is running well.

Boston-Azores-Oban
06/02/2008, Boston

So far we made it out of Boston harbour 3 times. Hopefully we won't have to turn back again. Other than pushed for time I suppose all has gone quite smoothly given we've taken an unused boat off the hard after 18 months, tossed it in the water and left 48 hours later. We've been up since 7am and worked all day, had a shower and headed out. Ian and Dougie on watch in ½ hour while Phil and I sleep. (Dougie slept all afternoon while Phil worked).

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