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Crew member on GBR9793T Cheeki Rafiki

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Blue watch came on 1800 - 2200hrs

John's Elgar selection continued to entertain the sea birds, whilst the dolphins chose to stay away.

The crew were divided and coincidentally the routine rumble of the engine on its 2 hour battery charge started early. This protected the hard rockers (some would say the Philistines) sleeping below from the horror of quality music.

Elgar really knew how to stretch out a theme and the blue watch were clearly suffering with their off shift Gareth watch another of Gary's movies, Gary mused whilst thinking up even more jokes for the next shift. Bret did the trying to sleep thing, and Ken sorted photos on the laptop and wrote the blog stuff, setting his alarm for the wrong time.. Even sophisticated Nick was escaping the classics by cooking an early meal for his watch. I thoroughly enjoyed the Elgar interlude.

The batteries are charged twice every day for two hours, to ensure they will be there to start the engine in an emergency and to drive the essential systems such as the Nav station, lights etc.

During our training campaign for the Fastnet last year we had a battery failure that ultimately led to us being unceremoniously towed into Weymouth by the lifeboat. We have no intention of suffering this ignominious fate again.

Martin picked up the weather forecast on his tiny long wave radio. This promised south east force 4-5. This would be great. Nothing happened and we continued to limp along, barely making headway across this corner of the Atlantic. .

Red watch came on 2200 - 0200hrs

Well not all of red watch arrived on time. Elgar was now alive and on the boat, the orchestra was in the fore peak dressed in sail cloth and the opera singer was on the helm belting out unintelligible noises. She looked like John, this was the odd bit. The words repeated gently as John smiled broadly. He was very close, this was also odd. I panicked, realising I was going dolally. I woke up seeing that John was leaning over the bunk trying to wake me up. I had overslept my alarm.

The South Easterly started to flow and we started sailing by the bearing 195deg . In the dark with lots of cloud this was not easy. The horizon was the type of featureless cloud that blends with the sea and disorientates the helm with a spinning feeling. The answer is to sail on the numbers, moving gently up and down.

As shrift change approached, the wind built to above 13 knots. We decided to tack, change sail hoisting nr3, tack back to drop nr 1. We put the m/h on deck in case the breeze dropped, then handed over to go to bed.

Blue watch returned 0200- 0600hrs

Ken Allison, Blue Watch Leader,

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