Friday, 15th January, 2016
W. Eric Faber
Fri 15 Jan 2016 10:13
Yesterday was the first day since our departure from St Lucia last year that we harvested a sea crop. Not that we had the fishing rod out or our harpoon, no, we were whiling away the day when suddenly Luna Quest was attacked by a school of squid, dozens of them. They landed in the sails, the stack pack, the foredeck, the side decks, in the cockpit, on the coach roof and one even landed on the saloon floor. They are full of black ink and their landing somehow releases the lot. Unless washed off immediately, the ink is indelible. We collected about two dozen for our consumption, dumping them in the sink and threw another dozen or more over the side. The mess they left behind was like mud on the kitchen floor, unpleasant to say the least. With buckets of sea water, two scourers and Jiff, we worked the better part of an hour to remove the worst, but the stains are everywhere and the sails and stack pack are impossible to clean. What a mess!
Julia spent the next hour patiently preparing our supper, cutting off their heads, saving their tentacles (they are apparently a delicacy), gutting them and stripping off their skins. We were looking forward to a squiddy feast or two, but after Julia had cooked some of them, freezing the rest, they were too rubbery for consumption. As my mouth is still healing from the November operation, I could not even contemplate chewing any of them. One tentacle that Julia had given me to try, although quite tasty, was like eating five rubber bands. No doubt, Julia will find a way to use the squids for our consumption as we are reluctant to waste food.
Before nightfall we jibed leaving one reef in the main sail in the expectation that the wind would increase overnight and veer. The increase duly came, but not the veer so that we were taken too far south at great speed! The Hydrovane barely coped and something had to be done. At 3am the wind subsided somewhat giving us an opportunity to jibe back, change foresails and put a second reef in the main sail. We managed all all of it just as the wind piped up again to F6…