We have now gone south of the Canary Islands in some fairly good winds.
Not exactly pushing us in the perfect direction we want to go, but at least
pushing us.  The good news is that the routing software that takes the
weather forecasts and gives us the best route (that all the other boats are
using) is now working.  The bad news us that the weather reports we are
getting are still not up to date.  How long does it take to sort this out??

Our midday “Happy Hour” meeting was chaired by myself a couple of days ago. We have to start with telling the crew something they don’t already know about ourselves.
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We have had some quite funny stories – so I felt that the
Travel Trade Crusade driving through Amsterdam dressed as Batman was
appropriate.  That got quite a few laughs especially when I got to the bit
where we had the nude blow up doll in the back seat.

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I also felt I had to bring up the boat hook.  Someone had cable tied it
down the side of the handrail in the companionway stairway, and several
times I had grabbed that instead of the handrail.  Not a problem in calm
weather, but if I grabbed that and a wave hit I would probably end up with
my backside in the kitchen sink.  It was removed and re-housed in a jiffy.
Obviously no-one else wanted my backside in the kitchen sink either!

We have now been joined by several shoals of flying fish.  Every now and
then you hear a swishing sound, and about a hundred of them fly out of the
water.  They have been with us on and off for two days now.  At least we
have now found more life in the sea.  We have been asked to keep an eye out
for a 43 foot yacht that went missing at the beginning of August with one
72 year old man on board.  As we were looking at the flying fish someone
spotted what they thought was a dan buoy (the thing you throw out when
someone goes overboard with a tall flag on).  Just as we were getting ready
to drop the sails Wendy got the binoculars and decided it was a fishing
buoy.  False alarm!

Sunday has now been renamed New Undie Sunday.  It seems that I am not the only one that has only one change per week – no-one else has theirs vacuum packed in a zip lock bag though!  Not sure what we all smell like on a Saturday, but must be all the same.  I am sure we all stink – but funnily enough I can’t smell anything.  Must be immune.  No idea what my hair looks like after nearly two and a half weeks without washing – just the Lush grapefruit dry shampoo every few days.  I prefer not to think about it!

We had quite a dramatic shift this afternoon.  There has been getting a
little tension or two in the air, so Kat called a meeting.  She is very
good – very direct, but treats these situations very well.  It seems that
some people are not “volunteering” for duties as often as they should be –
some prefer to have a little sun bathe out of the way.  Or at night go for
a little snooze in a corner where they can’t be seen.  We are now going to
have a number system where we all take our turns.  Good idea!

Then we went to do a gybe, but the spinnaker rope was not going around the
block properly.  Jo and Jim went to see what the problem was, and Jim
thought he could sort it out.  He pulled the rope, but got his finger
caught in between the rope and the block.  A very quick grind by Dave got
his little finger out, without too much damage.  A little blood and a
probable lost nail I fear.  Could have been worse!

The block, consequently, is being repaired by Dad’s Army!

Wendy has now set up a competition for the fastest tying bowline.  First
and second prize is various Australian chocolate, so the stakes are high.
The quickest as I write is 2.7 seconds.  Think I might get the booby prize!

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