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11/15 - 14h55

Curry Night on Grey Power

We are getting more squalls now, usually with rain.  The wind rises and veers, usually about 2 points of the compass ( 22 1/2 degrees), but we did have one very heavy rain squall where it shifted 5 points and for a while we were steering 260 degrees on the port tack,so, since I cannot set wind control of the compass I have to stay ready to turn downwind or we would be knocked on our side.  So I camped out in the cockpit, throwing my bed through the hatch every time it rained.  These squalls will increase as we approach the Windies, and present a problem as far as sail setting is concerned, in the squalls we have too much sail, but between them them, when the wind subsides, we have too little.  This is the weak point on this boat as with everything so big, a sail chage takes time, sometimes longer than the gap between the squalls and calms, so one tends to be cautious and inevitably lose speed.
We are now in the Tropics after all but its a pity man cannot work out how to get this rain land 2000 miles east of here.
Busy night for shipping as well, as I saw 3 ships so we must be on a shipping lane.  There may have been others when I was dozing but none came within the safety zone on my plotter whichs sets off an alarm, either from radar or AIS.
I forgot my seabird book which is annoying as there were two smallblack birds, the size of petrels, with a flash of white beneath the wing on the body, dancing around the boat.  Probably chasing flying fish which have been jumping out of the water at our approach and then gliding along the top of the surface.  They dont actively fly, but they build up speed in the water, launch themselves into the air, and then their extended pectoral fins act as wings.  Its when they climb too high they land on deck and then usually die.
RKJ

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