The sun seems to have disappeared on us for the
past three days, the temperatures are pleasant and the wind is consistant
blowing almost directly to Salvador. There within lies the problem, do we wish
to be on the northly gybe where the wind looks a little stronger or on the
westerly gybe which is more direct but takes us closer to the lighter
winds? At present we continue west under the big grey runner but are keeping a
close eye on the baromatic pressure.
The lack of sun has allowed all of our complexions
to recover, Paul & Chris in particular suffered from arriving from a frozen
winter in England to a hot sunny Cape Town. Chris looks like he has been in
a nuclear accident. (Don't worry Charlotte - he will have re-growm his face by
the time he returns! maybe a better one :) As I write, the sun has made a
re-appearance and the winds have shifted into the East putting us officially in
the trade winds for the first time. At around 6pm we should be crossing the
Greenwich Meridian line, our version of the equator for this passage. As such,
various celebrations are planned, offerings will be made to various sea
gods and Chris has an old salty sea shanty dance he will be
performing on the foredeck - we are all much looking forward to this ...
Tonight is curry night onboard - another event
eagerly anticipated. Meal times as everyone predicted have become a focal point,
last night as we sat down in the cockpit, a flying fish hit John in the face,
glanced off straight into the deck - see attached photograph. (Fish didn't
survive - sorry Laura)
We have not achieved the mileage we would have
liked in the last few days and our position in the fleet probably reflects
that. Knowing where we are in the order of merit is made somewhat diffcult by
some apparent confusion around whether some competitors are actually east or
west of the meridian at this stage. If todays positions are to be believed there
have been some breathtaking daily runs of many hundreds of miles. No doubt
things will become clearer tomorrow. We have had to make a few painful
performance decisions since our early equipment misfortunes. Although in the
past 48 hours the weather moderated to a steady 20 - 24 knots, we have
struggled to keep the boat stable after dark with a large confused quartering
seas. Each of us broached the boat in the dark which puts enormous strain on the
goose neck. The cheeks on the boom end which attach the boom to the goose neck
on the mast became splayed out when the boom fell off first night out. We have a
jury rig holding it altogether which comes under massive pressure when the
boat broaches and the sails flog. As a result, the past two nights we have been
very conservative. The conditions have moderated again and we feel we have the
confidence to push the boat a little harder, the next three days will tell if we
are able to start to regain some of the lost ground.
Chris's recipe of the day.
Boeuf Argentinienne presented with a Potato and
Take 6 potatoes (or packet of Smash if no potatoes
available), peel, chop finely and boil for 10 mins.
Ask someone how long "potatoes take"
Ignore them and boil for further 30
As potatoes approach the consistency of semolina
ask how long "onions take"
Trim sails & cut up one onion.
Remove (as far as possible while bringing spinnaker
on deck) fragments of fingers, nails etc.
Fry the onion in a frying pan with 1/2 litre olive
oil for 3 minutes.
Add what is left of potatoes to onion and
fry for a further 20 minutes or until the colour of custard.
Check consistency and add additional oil to
Meanwhile open one tin of corned beef and carefully
Serve potato and onion slurry & corned beef
with a drizzle of mayonaise and tomato to garnish.
An Albatross on dawn patrol
Shoals of flying fish everywhere.
One tanker spotted on the way to Singapore (this
news bought to you by AIS)