Happy Birthday to Nellie & Happy Independence Day to our supporters in the USA – no fireworks out here in the middle of the Indian Ocean but just as much fun & excitement…..

We’re currently battling through a force 8 gale, gusting up to force 9. Minutes before writing today’s blog Forward Port Watch noted a gust of 49 knots. We are now all immune to the 5 metre swell but when an 8 metre one hits us gasps are heard around the ship. Nellie is faring well in these conditions

as she heels up to 43 degrees & we sail ever southwards on a course of 180. Lesley, the 2nd mate, tells us that the weather is set in for at least another 24 hours!

As ‘wheelies & Wobblies’ are confined to ‘below deck’ for safety reasons those of a stronger constitution venture out to the main mast where waves hit us from every direction, even the bridge isn’t exempt – the Perspex has been fitted around the bridge to protect crew & equipment alike but it served little purpose this afternoon as a wave managed to find its way through drenching Mike, John & Jonathan.

For those of you non sailors out there please DO NOT worry – we’re all having a great time as we impersonate gibbons as we swing from one grab rail to another around the ship.

On a lighter note the ‘murder’ game is well under way with Captain Barbara being the ever competitive serial killer, slaying 4 of the crew, (Martin the B.M., Carole, Ryan the cadet & Eli), while James Whale took revenge on Cookie Dave by killing him at the mizzen mast, (in the bar), with a canned drink – not a hard task considering Dave can be found there every night of the week! With over a third of the crew now dead, paranoia is setting in & no-one can be trusted…..

Forward Port Watch: Grandpa Jonathan, Grandad John, Daddy Mike, Mummy Alli, Anna – the chosen one, Eli – now the 20 year old grown up & signed in her absence Ruth the Au Pair.