It's 03:00 and I have just completed the log with another hour to go on my watch, before I hand over to Mark again. We are at 30 54.56' N 16 14.74 W. On the radio earlier we heard an All Ships call to help with a Man Overboard from a commercial ship at 42 N. That was 600 miles north of us, so not something we could assist with, but it is a bleak feeling to think of the man in the water on this rough night.
Heading south from Madeira, tonight has been brightly lit by the waxing moon. So bright that the colours of the yellow diesel cans on the aft deck, and of the orange life buoys and the "Red Duster" flying from the stern are clear. Rare to see colours by moonlight!
The broad reach under Genoa alone has taken us roaring along at between 7 and 9 knots in 20-30knots of wind. We rise over the swell which breaks beneath us, with an occasional dollop into the cockpit. The wind is mild, but it feels chilly enough to wear full thermals and the Musto suit on top. My new Madeira cap keeps the head warm.
Astern is a 20 m yacht, Vahine, which has been struggling to get within 5 miles of us all night. I still cannot see her lights. Otherwise the sea is empty of traffic.
We are about 50 miles north of The Salvage Islands (Islas Salvagem) a nature reserve which requires permission to anchor in. We should be there about 10:00 and will have a look. There appears to be a mooring buoy which we could pick up but if not we will sail through.