05 Dec - Day 19 Position at 16.00 hrs 19:27.9N 052:02.9W

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Wed 5 Dec 2007 21:07
Day 19 Distance to Antigua  577 nm (nautical miles).

Distance covered since yesterday at 16.00 -   107 nm. Average speed over 24 hrs =  4.46 kts

Another day, another 100 miles (just).  Most of it under motor I regret to tell you.  We have had the sails up as well but they haven't been much help.

We thought long and hard about what to eat last night and in the end decided on fish - for a change.  Well, the Japanese eat it every day don't they?

Sam suggested we cook it it a Thai Green Curry Sauce that she had bought in the UK from Sainsbury's before we left.  We have tried it before with chicken and it said on the packet it was good for fish too.  I started by making some nice white rice.  I have a special technique for rice and it comes out a treat every time.  So in case your rice is always a sticky goo, just follow this simple method.  Take 3/4 mug of long grain rice and wash it in cold water til the milkiness disappears.  Heat a pan with a little olive oil and drop in the wet rice.  Stir for 5 minutes to prevent it sticking.  Meanwhile boil the kettle and add one and half times the amount of rice in water. Use the same mug to measure with. It is very important not too add to much liquid.  Throw in a couple of bay leaves, 3 cardamoms and a couple of cloves. Bring to the boil and then immediately turn down to lowest possible heat and cover the pan with the lid. Don't keep opening the pan to look at the rice - you'll let the steam out and that's the secret. After 10 mins remove the lid, and you will find most of the liquid will have disappeared into the rice.  Give it a good stir to loosen it up and then replace the lid. Warm again slowly so as not to burn the bottom of the rice, turn off the heat and leave it for another 10 minutes.  Again, don't keep looking at it - it doesn't help! Result, perfect rice.  Remove the bay leaves, cardamoms and the cloves before serving.

I then skinned the fish (in this case dorada - what else?), cut into large chunky pieces and fried in hot oil  just until it was coloured.  Carefully cut the corner of the packet  making sure you pare back the edges so it pours easily, especially if your floor happens to be moving around or you are drunk. Pour over the fish - we used dorada but you can use any fish that is as delicious as dorada and has no bones. Cod will do if you can find any these days. Now, here's the tricky bit.  Try reading the instructions in the dark whilst staggering about trying to keep your balance.  Fortunately, you can ignore them because all you do with Sainsbury's  Thai Green Curry Sauce is heat it up for 15/20 mins and serve with the light fluffy wonderful rice. We sat out on the back patio watching the next squall coming in wondering if we could finish our Oriental Thai Dorada before it arrived and gave us a good soaking.  Which we did and which it did too.

In fact, it turned out to be one of those nights - which was a shame.  If you remember, we decided to try a different watch system which I hoped would suit my preference for later going to bed and even later getting ups in the morning. Preferably after everyone else has gone to work.  My Mum always used to come into my room, fling open the curtains with a flourish and say in a loud voice "For goodness sake Jonathan, do get up, you'll make yourself ill." (how does that work?  I thought you got sent to bed when you were ill?).  I should have told her that blindness is not an illness, it's an affliction. Oi!, give me my magazine back.

Anyway, the watch change was a bad idea as I said we would start the watch system at 10 instead of 9 and I would do 10 til 1am.  After the Oriental Thai Dorada, Sam said she felt sleepy (it was about 8.30 pm) and was going for a kip.  "No probs" I said, but quietly thinking "bloody 'ell, I'm now on me Jack Jones til 1 am".  They do say that the first casualty of war is the battle plan.  I poked up with it til about 11.30 and then gave her a shake.  "Sorry" I said, "I don't think this is gonna work".  She looked at me startled as if to say "Now you tell me - in the middle of the Atlantic - how do I get the bus home from here?" I assured her it was just the watch system and that I had been playing with the sails to no avail in the fluky wind and I was ready for a kip. I must admit, I did sleep well and at up again at 3 am, I was a true zombie. Walking like they do in the movies with that sort of raised knees look.  Not difficult when the floor won't keep still and you have one leg in your trousers and one leg out.

It was a long, long long watch til 5 am but fortunately, I slept through most of it in the cockpit waking up just occasionally to glance from side to side.  Well, if it's good enough for Ellen MacArthur .......

So, when I finally woke up I pulled out some more headsail to supplement the still chugging sound of the diesel engine. Most comforting and sleep inducing if I may say so.  So safe and reassuring.  Maybe, just maybe I'll swap this silly sailing boat nonsense for a nice big SUNSEEKER - all gold medallions, white slacks, champagne and canapes, girls in short dresses and high heels, late night parties in Monte Carlo.  Sleeping late in the morning 'til I make myself really ill.....(less of that Jonnie boy, you know what the Dr said.  Now where are your pills? - Sam)

Anyyyyway ...... dawn dawned bright (missed it I'm afraid) and woke Sam up again.  It's been a lovely day today.  No wind at all.  Perfect weather for power boating or water skiing.  But we opted instead for the mid Atlantic swim (bath) in 3000 meters of the deepest blue water you can imagine. I hope to bring you a photo shortly but first I have to check the definition and may need to use my airbrush.  (no not hairbrush Mum - oh never mind). Remember I told you - way back about the sea water temperature rising each day.  Well, you can only guess how warm it is now. Even I got in - not together mind 'cos that would be silly wouldn't it? Just the 2 of us and a fender as the boat accelerates away as the wind finally fills in.  (Or Phil starts the engine and roars off into the sunset laughing hysterically - bye bye suckers Jamaica here I come!)

So, as you can see readers - just another boring old 24 hours at sea. Wind tomorrow - maybe.  Will the diesel run out, will Phil hatch another dastardly plot to take over, is life at sea all it's made out to be..... Tune in again tomorrow for another thrilling episode of ............  The Imaginers.

(Is he getting worse?!?!? Should I be getting worried?!?!  Hopefully we'll reach land before he finally cracks ; ) Maybe this blog writing is the release that is stopping him going over the edge or the side!  Here's hoping - Sam  )

Ok, now accelerate, I've got the skiis on.