Tenacious at sea

Days 3-4

Well, so far we’ve had almost every kind of weather but fine! Anybody who was expecting a warm Mediterranean sun and balmy zephyrs will have been disappointed.

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The fresh (force 6-7) north easterlies kept up until this morning and pushed us west at a great rate – at one point last night we were making better than 10 knots under courses and topsails, and throwing a terrific bow wave! Five dolphins came and entertained us for a while though I was doing a trick at the wheel at the time so I didn’t get a close look.

Cold north-easterlies - but fast progress
Cold north-easterlies – but fast progress

This morning however – just when we we were hoping for a glimpse of the eclipse – heavy rain squalls with thunder and lightning came through and the wind began veering. The captain was understandably anxious and we were all kept busy bracing the yards and reducing sail. A couple of miserable song birds came aboard for while. Poor things. The heavy rain flattened the waves almost completely.

I’ve just come up on deck again after a short nap and the coast of Spain near Motril is in sight. The wind has now eased and is almost south westerly. It’s still cloudy but the rain has ceased and we’re proceeding slowly westwards towards the Straits of Gibraltar. If the wind goes into the west as predicted well be motoring before long. But everyone now has their sea legs and meal attendance has markedly improved!

My first talk on celestial navigation took place round the mainmast yesterday and seemed popular I’m glad to say! But today’s had to be postponed because of the squalls. So far there’s been no chance of a sextant sight alas.

More soon I hope.

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