Yesterday evening's half-way celebrations were fun. The crew were invited for drinks and nibbles in the cockpit at 6.00 and a bottle of Sharpham Park sparkling wine (produced on the banks of the River Dart) was very much enjoyed. A slightly surreal video night followed with the laptop and speakers propped up in the companion way - we watched the excellent Sam Neal film 'The Dish' whilst reaching at 6 - 7 knots with the Parasailor. The evening ended with a very tasty pasta bolognese produced by Dianne.
The forecast suggested that the winds would continue to decrease during the night so we decided that it would be fine to revert to one person on watch. Unfortunately Neptune had other ideas and at 01.30 delivered a Force 5, gusting 6 so it was an all-hands-on-deck moment to get the Parasailor down safely. Rich and Fergus made a great team on the foredeck whilst Graham concentrated on keeping a safe and straight course and Dianne eased the sheets and guys. The sail change was challenging but completed perfectly - what a crew!
For the rest on the night we made good progress under foresail alone and this morning have all the white sails deployed as the wind has swung round to the SSW (so we are beating towards it). Unfortunately the wind is dropping away and we are currently only making about 3 knots!! Still, it's a good chance to get the washing done now that the heavy rain of this morning has gone. The longer-term forecast suggests that normal-service trade winds will return tomorrow so the Parasailor will be back up soon.
Safe, Happy, just not very Fast