FROM 2-9. Greenland-N.Atlantic-Falmouth

5533 03723 Iagtu

With apologies to Francis Chichester. I have just been sitting on the floor listening – again, Michael! – to the diesel sloshing around in the tank and the symphony of the wind in the rig and Berri’s quirky grammar. While there, I was able to Consult intensively with my (currently) favourite shrink, Dr. Carl S. Berg, known to his mates as Pachy. I have invested in another six consultations with him and I am confidently expecting him to cure me of the silly notion that sailing is fun.

Meantime, I agree with McQ – while relentless, it looks generally favourable for the next week. Simon, I understand that you read this drivel. I’m offering the staggering odds of 11/8 on that I will be able to deliver an alcohol and nicotine deprived and generally slightly feral McQueen to a spot close to you by the Appointed Time. She may arrive with matted hair and rotting toes in their plastic bags but arrive I think she will. I would like you to try to shorten the odds by negotiating with the Examiner to ensure that the weather stays as the grib says it will – more or less behind us – or, of course, improves – and we can blast through the barn door with nothing on the nose. And when she gets there, I have no doubt that you will attend to the deprivations and the toes.

The Falmouth to-do list is huge, just like last time, but this time it doesn’t have the same urgency – no Fastnet and no second half of the world – yet! Dave, are you still in business? Need some stuff.

Pat H – how’s the brew? Haven’t forgotten you, just been a bit busy.

Pascal, thanks for message and kind words. You started this, you fink – and I still have your beer – sitting on it as I write – so may be able to deliver soonish. Pity it won’t be to HMP. Has Dr Grunsfeld been up to carve another notch on the Hubble yet.

Bare poling again and I have to go on deck.

2 hours later – 5528 03706 – I’ve seen big waves before and some of these are very big – and breaking. 30 – 35 knots in the harbour is trivial but out here, blowing for days on end and from different directions, it can be life threatening. Pete and I saw a lot worse going into Cape Horn and south of Africa but this is still pretty nasty. Cockpit full of water once and we’ve only got one of the big drains working because the other has lost its venturi so it takes for ever to drain.

Lost the feed from the gps to the computer about a month ago (probably a connection) – backup is a USB version taped to the underside of the coachroof direct into the laptop – and now we’ve lost the main gps – I suspect because water has got into the aerial, which is on the pushpit about 2 metres above the water.

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