Fifty-four people. Fifty-five days. Fifty-six meters of boat. Five thousand miles (and counting).

We all have days when we have enough of the people around us, even in our land-based lives and families. I see different ways the people here on board deal with those moments. Earphones in. Deep diving into journals. Movies. Lots and lots of sleeping.

Yesterday, I read a lot and listened to music. Despite the very interesting tour of the galley and provisions (of which more another time), mostly I kept my head down. I didn’t even check my emails and I’m sorry to say I missed a blog. I think it’s only the third time, and the others were due to acute seasickness.

At 2000, as our evening watch began, I was rewarded with a stunning full moon. It shone from a clear sky but a ring formed around it, showing the humidity gathering in the high air. Mackerel clouds stippled the dark sky and the moon slipped its veils on and off. It was still bright when we went to bed at midnight but by 0200 the blue watch was sailing in darkness.

This morning was calm, with very little wind. We rushed around exchanging stay-sails for storm jibs and checking all the gear. By midday we had seen two sharp and very wet squalls and by 1600 Europa is well heeled to a north-westerly.

The voyage looks set to give us one last tough storm before we reach Africa, with 50 knot winds forecast over the next 36 hours. At least this time I hope not to be bunk-bound with seasickness. Along with the rest of the crew, I will enjoy the albatrosses riding the wind and the hard work of the ship as she takes us towards home.

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