Saturday night Ruby and shitting Boobies
We have been sailing non-stop since the last blog update which has been very good for morale. Unfortunately we haven't always been sailing in the right direction and the forecasted easterly winds that we were promised have been more south to south-easterly; so we have regularly found ourselves heading on a westerly routing over the top of the Galapagos rather than the southerly route that we are aiming for. Right at this moment though we are on course and the winds forecasted later this evening and tomorrow all promise plenty of easterly in them. Let's hope that they deliver!
At midday we launched our lightweight "drifter" sail "big blue" which we can set upwind and with its large surface area (60 odd square metres I think... one to fact check at a later date) it gives us an extra knot or so of speed. Mostly importantly it's really pretty :) oh hang on... apparently that's not most important!! Well no one wants to look at an unsightly sail for days on end do they??!
On the subject of things being unsightly we continue to be "occupied" by the Red-footed Boobies. They mostly sit on the pulpit right at the very bow of the boat although one has also taken up residence on the portside guard wires and late last night when I was on watch one attempted to join me in the cockpit. They are leaving a liberal coating of white bird shit below each of their perches which means the anchor; furling drum for the headsail and portside cleat are all covered. We try and discourage them but as I have mentioned previously they are totally fearless and neither human nor feline can deter them. So all three of us are just sulking and pretending they aren't there. Despite being a keen lover of nature; especially birdlife, I must confess I am looking into a recipe that can be adapted to "oven-roast Booby" for Easter.
Our other visitors today arrived at daybreak; a sizeable pod of very large porpoises. I am pretty sure they were pilot whales although they could have been very large dolphins. The shape of the dorsal fin and their slightly rounded faces made me think they might be pilot whales. My first concern was Orcas but despite being very dark they weren't quite black and white. I'd estimate there were about 8 in total and a couple came alongside; not acrobatic like dolphins usually are but riding up out of the water and having a little look at us. Much further off in the distance I saw a spray of water shooting directly upwards; presumably a much bigger creature, fortunately not so curious about us and keeping their distance.
We have done what we can to make it feel like a Saturday again today. For breakfast I had my customary Saturday morning Dippy eggs and Jamie had scrambled eggs with the fresh bread he'd baked last night. A total of 4 eggs for breakfast and not a rotten one amongst them - boom! We listened to a Frank Skinner podcast and sat below at the saloon table just like any normal Saturday. We could easily have forgotten we were underway in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!
This afternoon Jamie cooked us a vegetable curry for tonight's dinner and then we took to the bow for "spa day". Today was Jamie's turn for a haircut and I think I did rather a good job bearing in mind we were moving as I did it. There's only one small slip which looks like I used a bread knife to cut it but that will have long grown out before anyone sees it! We then gave ourselves a good dowsing in salt water and treated ourselves to a fresh water rinse off.
Meep has been very quiet these last few days favouring his hammock to hanging out with us; but he's eating and drinking and seems very healthy and quite content. I think the Boobies are pissing him off but I'm glad he is just leaving them to get on with it; I was worried he would be constantly trying to chase them which wouldn't be ideal... *stop press* he has literally just made a liar of me by coming to join us in the cockpit where we are having a late afternoon snack of hummus, olives and the last of the mayonnaise flavoured crisps that our friend Lindy discovered when we were all in Panama together. Meep has jumped straight up on the table and treated himself to a crisp! I will attempt to post a photo or two with this blog tonight. There's a sweet one of him in his hammock earlier and one of him just now gate crashing our snack! Depending on how small Jamie can compress them you might get treated to one or both...
April 1st today; a new month. Hope it is a good one for everyone and for our friends and family in the UK hopefully this means spring is finally in the air. "Kalo mina" to our Greek friends. I have always liked April; it always feel like a month full of the promise of summer and the cold dark days of winter far behind at last. I wonder if we will make landfall during April? It is still possible although it could be May now before we arrive. Either way I expect to spend most of, if not all of the month at sea; no daffodils for us!
Not much else to report today. We continue to creep towards the equator; just less than 60nm to go; we are now in the 00° latitudes so very nearly there. Our daily 5pm to 5pm run came in at a respectable enough 78.6nm today.
There are still a few squalls and some thunder and lightening about but plenty of blue skies too so not all bad.