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Mischief - Log Day 14: Work to Rule, Christmas decorations and the further possibility of Virgins

3 December 2017 Position 0830 Precisely somewhere in Mid-Atlantic I believe.

The wind has dropped again and the progress has slowed to 5-6 knots not what we really want as our schedule gets tighter and tighter. Not only that but the waves overtake the boat and what wind there is is insufficient to keep the rig full with the result that the mainsail flogs back and forth with a bang which doesn't do it, nor our sanity, much good. We still have the Code 0 up poled out with the genoa and full main which is the best we can do other than the spinnaker.

To make matters worse Dave and I were called up on watch 10 minutes early at 2350 as Alf was tired and had made us coffee. At that time of night 10 minutes is ten minutes and I sat there looking at the floor for those stolen minutes and refused to watch anything until 2400 when I stuck my head up in my best Meerkat impression and watched away. Crews Union work to rule!!

It must have been 0500 when the radio went blaring off and I was in my bunk sound asleep. I must have been dreaming about Neal's postulation yesterday about the source of the weed floating around being from a missing island populated by Virgins because the voice came over as, "Madelleine, Madelleine, this is Virgin Merris, Virgin Merris, Over" repeatedly. Well with a name like that she could well have been an inhabitant of the missing island but it turned out to be a three masted sail training ship. So not only was it disappointing it was annoying to boot! But I didn't get up early and present on deck for reasons mentioned above.

We had scrambled egg on toast for breakfast, the bread we had made yesterday and was very good indeed during which the conversation drifted towards Christmas decorations and Wendy appeared keen. Dave was emphatically against the idea and that was that...Bah Humbug. Wendy then announced that we should put up the Advent Calendar at the very least but then admitted to having already eaten all the chocolate out of it to stop it melting! What about Christmas music? NO! Bah Humbug again. I'm all with Dave I must say. Then Wendy turned her attention to arrival and opening 'that' bottle of champagne to celebrate and then remembered aloud with, "Oh no, I drank that before we left".

However, it was just after breakfast that we noticed the Code 0 had a further split in it this morning in a different place along the bottom seam. This is now a real problem so we rolled it away and we executed a perfect spinnaker hoist which added a knot to speed and we have flown all day. We might have to fly it tonight as well as we risk ruining the Code 0 completely.

We knocked the ship's clock back an hour this afternoon to ease towards St Lucia time which is 4 hours behind GMT. Neal used the extra hour of his offwatch to wash his undies. Some he declared were beyond redemption and went over the side. So he was definitely showing signs of his feminine side as he offered to make spaghetti bolognese for tea with Alf. Very good it was too and I like his way of timing the spaghetti in this digital age - he went to smoke a fag after which it would be done! He even managed this bit of culinary skill despite a pain in his foot which has made him hop about this afternoon. But magnanimous to a fault he apportioned some of the credit for dinner to Alf who watched him peel an onion.

Anyway, we are making progress and the proportion of the paper chart still to be covered is less than we have already drawn lines on which is positive. Indeed we had 1,067nm to run as at 1400 GMT today and Alf reminds us that we have been at sea for 14 days today - seems like two weeks to me.

That's it for today other than we have decided to go through the night with the spinnaker up as long as it's clear and we can see.

Hi Ho!


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