Gusts & crusts (Squalls & balls) 15:58:64N 36:19:11W

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Tue 11 Jan 2022 19:57

Another peaceful day aboard. We were both quite exhausted after the repairs to the chaffed headsail sheet last night and we didn't get a huge amount of sleep due to shifting winds. Jamie had just gone off watch early this morning when the winds suddenly swung to the north and started rising indicating a squall coming through. So he'd barely had any sleep before I was calling him back on deck to help me reef down the sails. In the end it was only a little squall but our first Atlantic one so still exciting... ***STOP PRESS*** Captain claims it wasn't a squall as the wind didn't increase by 16kts for at least 2 minutes so he is calling it a "gust". Infact the wind increased by 11kts for about 90 seconds; veered to the north, the starry sky was completely covered by cloud and big heavy rain drops landed all over my cosy cockpit "nest" but, most importatly as I am the one writing the bloody blog if I want to call it a squall IT WAS A BLOODY SQUALL!!!


......where was I? Ah yes a peaceful day aboard that's right.. ;)


So we spent quite a bit of the day resting, reading and snoozing in the cockpit. This afternoon I spent some time in the galley preparing a shepherd's pie to bake later; or tomorrow depending on if we catch any fish or not. It's not a true shepherds pie as I am using a tin of Greek meatballs that I have minced up but it is a tried and tested recipe so I'm pretty sure it should taste good... but of course the captain may censor my use of the term "shepherd's pie" on the basis that it doesn't contain actual minced lamb. As we are clearly being "factually accurate" today I guess I should call it "processed meat of undetermined origins pie" or maybe "pulverized meatballs covered in mash"?!!


We are currently trolling our line in the hope that the little sod who mugged us of our lure yesterday has another go tonight. So far no nibbles but the sun is just setting and this is the best time to catch them apparantly. Ironically while we are hanging off the stern trying to catch a fish they are throwing themselves onto our deck in increasing numbers now. Today's count so far is 5 flying fish. It's pretty impressive that they are even making it onto the deck with the netting we installed between our guardwires... I don't know if they are travelling through the netting of over it as I haven't yet actually seen one land but every time I look on deck there is one there. I guess we will have to try one eventually - we have read mixed reports but the general consensus seems to be that they are a bit boney. I'm pretty sure Meep wouldn't care. We will have to try them but I feel like we should catch another fish with our reel first; it's a bit of a pride thing! We could try using one as bait; we might even have to if we continue to loose lures at our current rate!


Not much else to report. We are a happy crew generally. I think Jamie has been a little frustrated with the winds shifting about and the headsail flogging and flapping a bit today but we seem to be making decent headway despite that. We have stuck with the working sails again today; full main and headsail. Our daily run is just over 133nm and we have been averaging over 5kts of speed consistently and are currently pointing at our destination. Doesn't get much better than that :)


The weather forecast is still showing a continuation of these fairly light winds for the rest of the week and then some more boisterous conditions next week so it looks like we might have a sprint finish.


Just setting up now to go online and post this update and download our emails and weather. Captain has mixed us up a cheeky Tuesday night "mocktail" of orange juice and grenadine; "Sex on the Beach"? That's not even a grope in a sand pit!!!!