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November 16, 2005

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It was very nice to see Alice and Kim again. I tried not to let Alice do any work but failed. She did have a good rest, and we all did. Kevin & Kim explored the Islands and Brad went with them when snorkeling and exploring. The Islands are lovely and the people are very nice, but not as much English spoken as we expected. The biggest industry of course is tourism and has been for many years, but it surprised me of the wealth and number of people. This is our first big center if you want to call it that, and too much like civilization for me. All of our trip to here was to and through small places and we appreciate them even more when we get to a place that is relatively big and crowded. It is no reflection on the fine people when I say "it's nice to feel the ocean swells again."

We hauled the boat, had the bottom painted, railing fixed and canopy repaired before Alice and Kim got here. We also did many little jobs and cleaning before the ladies came. We moved the boat back to the Marina Santa Cruz but were unable to get a slip so stayed against the wharf until we left.

The sea was rough when we wanted to go to Las Palmas so we took the ferry and stayed over night. Alice and I shopped and explored Las Palmas while Brad, Kevin & Kim explored Gran Canaria Island.

Alice & Kim went home Nov 12th with sadness, on the morning of their departure, Kevin proposed to Kim :)

We left a bit urgently late Nov 13th. We had met and visited with Leven Brown who was rowing a small boat www.columbusrun.com to the Caribbean. He is a member of the British Ocean Rowing Society and they had a row boat 350 miles south of us that had sent a distress signal but weren't able to communicate further. They had a position reporting instrument on board that gave their location every 90 second and it indicated they were no longer making way. The Rowing Society asked us if we would deviate from our route a bit to check on them (2 men in their 50s). We were more than pleased to offer any assistance we could so quickly made preparations to get under way. Leven came to our boat before we left to say that the Society had contacted the Spanish coast guard prior to our contact and the CG aircraft had departed and so wouldn't now turn back. The Rowing Society still wanted us to continue as planned and they would advise us if the CG were able to communicate with the stranded rowers by VHF when they got to the location in their fixed wing plane. We called the next day at 10:00 and learned that a commercial boat had picked up the 2 men. The explanation we got was their watermaker quit working. We will update you when we learn more. Now back on course.

George Myette joined us on Nov 10 and will travel to Cape Verdes. We would have liked him to stay longer, but the poor guy still has a job calling him. He had been on the boat from San Francisco to Ensenada Mexico and back to San Diego so he was an experienced crewman and took a regular watch. We hope he joins us again on the other side of the world.

We crossed the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees 30 minutes on Nov 16 at 09:45, so now we are officially in the tropics. It had been cool and rainy until yesterday afternoon. I got some sun (almost too much). We have had surprising little time to soak up sun when it was accommodating.

Kevin was concerned about my estimates of range at reduced speed so we checked 48 hours at 1100 rpm and were averaging a speed of 5.4 kts and 2.35 NM per liter, and 2.3 liters per hour which will give a range at that speed of 8900 miles. These were ideal conditions which we wouldn't expect on a long trip but a good indication. If we were only averaging 4.5 kts we would still have a range of 7400 miles but need food for 69 days. Cape Town to Australia is 5000 miles so we will start out slow and make sure we have some reserve before speeding up, but expect to do it in about 35 days at an average speed of 6 kts. burning 3.75 LPH and have a fuel reserve of 650 liters. If we miss-calculate & run outů..

We expect to be in Cape Town from about Dec 20 to Jan 1. Hope to stop at Cape Verdes, St Helena and possibly Namibia on the way.