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Matilda - Nearly There

We are all still in a state of shock over Ciao yesterday, I cannot imagine what it must feel like losing your boat that way, not to mention your home for the last few years. Our thoughts are with Sreco and Olga at this time and just hope that insurance etc will go smoothly and not add to the heartbreak. Underwater objects are a constant worry on a crossing, but as there is not much you can do about them it is best not to have too much of an imagination. However it is incredibly bad luck when one strikes, we know sailors who have done many circumnavigations and have never had it happen to them once.

We hope to arrive in Cocos before lunchtime tomorrow, but that will depend on the wind. At times we go great guns with the current and barrel along accordingly, other times, like today, we have very slow periods. On the whole it has been a lovely windy and quick crossing with favourable currents. Since Jonathan's last email we have bettered our 24 hour record by achieving 186 miles in a day. We have also, for the first time really, used the wind vane self steering extensively and, with the duogen down too, the boat has been steering and powering itself quite nicely, you sometimes feel you are surplus to requirements. The wind vane seems to work best when there is stronger winds and we were very impressed with its performance downwind at over 27 knots in very rolly conditions.

Brizo has caught up on us today and we can now see them. It will be nice having some company on the last night and look forward to actually being able to swim from the boat tomorrow - a long time since we have been able to do it (alright, we could have done that in the Top End, but not brave enough to play chicken with the sealife, sharks yes, crocs no).

Yesterday I decided to take up my embroidery again after a gap of, well, lets just say a few years. This momentous decision has come about due to getting through books way too fast, seems almost pointless starting one when you know you'll have it finished by nightfall. Jonathan, on the otherhand, is well into his godawful American action thrillers and if nothing needs to be done on the boat and he isn't sleeping or eating, I just see the top of his head and hear the occasional grunt. It makes philosophical discussions like whose turn it is to make afternoon tea, wash up, reef up/down a bit boring and I miss our daily bickering.

However, it may mean my interpretation in silk of 'Possums Up A Bottlebrush Tree' will now be completed before I reach retirement. Unfortunately since starting this epic masterpiece (I like to think I understand a little of how Michaelangelo felt when looking at the semi-completed Cistine Chapel, and perhaps if I had a Pope on my back I would have completed it a lot sooner) my eyesight has gone South, so it is all taking even longer than it used to and I am beginning to feel really decrepit. I also don't seem to be able to take needle puncture wounds in the same way, (perhaps I have late onset haemophilia) so either I start using a thimble, or the blood stains will take away some of the attention from the little critters. I am sure the weeks to Mauritius will just fly by. However, I do fear that its sister work, 'Koalas Up A Gum Tree', may never be completed in this lifetime.

Speaking of Mauritius, our friend Brian from Dubai will be joining us there for a few days. It's going to be great catching up with him in what promises to be an interesting stop on our travels.

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