All well aboard Maunie, we are pleased to report. Yesterday afternoon the Force 6s began to ease so we launched the Parasailor spinnaker – the first time a moment of inattention from the skipper at the wheel resulted in a perfect 'wine glass' knot so we sorted this and relaunched for an hour or so before dusk when the photo was taken.
Last night was a lot less rolly so we all managed some off-watch sleep after a good evening meal and feel a lot more with-it today! The generator has been running for 3 hours to recharge batteries and to allow us to put the breadmaker into action – the first Atlantic Loaf looks pretty good! Meanwhile we flew the Parasailor again for a couple of hours but lots of clouds kept bringing extra gusts of wind under them so we took it down before it became too emotional to keep sailing with such a huge sail!
Life on board is beginning to fall into a good routine. Rich, Dianne and Fergus are on a 3-watch system so they each run the boat single-handed for 3 hours at night and 4 in the day. Graham floats between watches and is the first to be called on deck if a sail change is required; he also runs the 16.00-20.00 watch so that the normal watchkeeper becomes 'mother' to clean the boat and cook the evening meal. During the day there is usually a couple of us on deck and there are daily jobs to be done – running the generator and watermaker, downloading weather information (and emails) from the sat phone and taking part in the daily SSB Radio 'Net' where boats equipped with these long-range radios share their positions and weather conditions and any other tips or news.
The weather isn't exactly wall-to-wall sunshine at the moment – lots of clouds – but when the sky does clear at night the full moon is absolutely stunning. We're still on a strategy of making some distance southwards as well as west as there is a low pressure system developing in mid-Atlantic which may just give us a patch of no wind if we get too close to it. For the moment, though we have excellent sailing conditions and Maunie is doing well; you'll be able to see our position on the Fleet Viewer on the ARC website (we can't view it due to data limitations).
Best wishes from us all