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No, dear reader, Gilly-mate has not elevated eggs to the same status as tomatoes but increasingly the question on both our lips is are we nearly there yet? To which my overly cynical response (after the mainsail drama) is not until we have crossed the finish line and started the engine but to which Gilly-mate's is once we get within 200nm (because that is my conservative estimate as to how far we might motor, in benign conditions, with the fuel we have left onboard). I estimate that we have only used the engine for propulsion during the crossing to do 10nm and I would very much like to cross the finish line without increasing that! We both feel that having been at sea since the 20 November we do need to get there. However, our reasons differ:

I have already been in e-mail contact with a chandler, so hopefully tomorrow we will agree which linear drive unit we require so that can be ordered to be available when we get in. I am hopeful that because the lead boats, nay I flatter myself, because very nearly the "whole fleet" (an obscure reference to a line in Hunt for Red October - a family favourite) has arrived well before us, the sail-makers will be coming up for air and able to repair our canvas in short order. We also need a new fridge compressor. What is more, given the general lack of any sign of winter here I can't believe there are only 17 shopping days left before Christmas.

Gilly-mate is deep into Christmas, with lists and festive things to do. She also points out that we are arriving in the Caribbean, on one of the most inefficient means of transport (in terms of speed) known to man and that having (nearly) my word! done it with just the two of us. We have therefore completed parts 1 and 2 of our "Grande Voyage" and we are going to enjoy the arriving.

Actually, with 4 eggs left, I think it might it be more straightforward just to stay at sea but this won't work unless I can arrange a delivery of fresh tomatoes........etc........perhaps Father Christmas is real..................does he do messages in bottles?

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