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Aurelia - Aurelia Trip Day 6

After a couple of days of really good sailing we reached the entrance to the Old Bahama Channel, just North of Cuba, around 12.30am this morning. The Spinnaker had been up for the past 14hrs constant but we now had to move on to a closer reach.  Lots of boats around , sailing, Tankers & a US Navy ship all coming up on the AIS as being dangerously close. We just needed to be extra vigilant being night time.
We are now through the Channel & moved on to a more Northerly course as we pass the Great Bahama Bank headed for the Straits of Florida & then Port Everglades. We hope to pick up some good speed once we enter the northerly current of the Gulf Stream which could add 3 or 4knts to our boat speed in places.
For a change on board Sandy made the porridge this morning & he does like his extra stodge, We have decided to wear 2 lifejackets for the extra buoyancy required.
Sandy has also been placed on the Naughty step numerous times for general untidiness on board & a number of very unusual habits. In addition to slowing the boat down with the amount of washing he hangs out, Big Pants, he leaves clothes pegs all over the place & has been nicknamed Lady Gaga for his method of waking us in the morning, Poker Face.  He was also given a present of a 1000 lumens head torch from Christine which he enjoys showing off with & shining in our eyes at night. 
We had a really bad night on Monday of Rain, Thunder & Lightning , Unfavourable wind direction & Big swells forcing as well off our intended course  past the south west of Great Inagua Island. When I came on shift at 8am the boys had spent 4hrs at over 7knts but only made 6nm towards our next waypoint. Not too happy obviously but they claimed to have tried really hard to stay close to our course ????. The jury is still out.
In the end we had to run deep fairly close to the Lighthouse on the south of the island & then set course for Old Bahamas Channel.
Weather conditions at night much better now although we still see Thunder storms in the distance.  The mood was also raised when we finally hoisted the spinnaker in a steady following breeze & sunshine. Cold beers all round as we steamed ahead.  Prior to our usual sundowner we also had a boys showerathon on deck last night,  Well overdue & thouragly enjoyed
A freaky moment as we bombed along with the spinnaker was the sighting of a yacht beached on a small reef which was not showing on our chart plotter unless you zoomed all the way in. Cay Santo Domingo.  This was a timely  wake up call to be extra vigilent with our navigation & chart work . especially at night & as we approach more congested & more challenging channels.
Also on board with Lady Gaga we have Lulu, due to Boom Bang A Bang Boom Bang A Bang. Robbie struggles with his night time helming, as we all do I suppose, & Gerry/Jamie the Naked Chef .
Their all fishing on deck just now & we may have a catch so off for a look.
Cheers for now

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