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March 4, 2017

It’s pleasant weather here but light winds against us, so we had to motor sail 310’ at 8 knots towards the Azores. Alan was on mess duty and the ships motion made it very difficult. We were over to 40’ one time and at that angle even the best stowed items of kitchen equipment come loose and fly everywhere!

Captain Richard briefed us that we will definitely be stopping in the Azores so all were happy. The rest of us attended a good talk by Leslie (Chief Mate) on sail setting followed by dinner of Beef and Guinness pie with veg and mash followed by apricots with chocolate sauce and ice cream.

All hands were called at 1900 to brace the yards. We were on watch again at 2000 hours. From 2100 to midnight Aft Starboard watch handed the flying jib and the spanker. Then we set the fore and main topsail and the main t’gallant. The main t’gallant is on a roller (like a roller blind) and it jammed. Beth (Bosuns Mate) went up to un-jam it, climbing the shrouds like a cat.

After much heaving (and swearing) she called for Stu the Bosun. Stu donned his harness and climbed up to join her. We sweated on the furling lines while far above us in the dark they battered the sail into submission. At 0000hrs our watch was due to end but instead we carried on with Aft Port (our relief watch) to set the fore and main courses after furling the main staysail. We fell into our bunks exhausted at 0040hrs, up again for breakfast at 0800.

All of us love it here with the ocean four kilometers deep beneath us but at times it’s a real challenge too.

Peter (WL) Abby, Alan, Eddy, Kieran, Nicci, Robin, Roly.

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