Successful noon site….!

Kingfisher 2013
Peter Smith
Sun 8 Dec 2013 19:48
1730 Sunday December 8th - just another day in paradise. All threesomes are destined to end in tears I suppose. We motor-sailed back into our little group last night and gybed at midnight when they did. The Blue Peter then developed some problems (still not quite sure what they entailed) and fell behind. True Blue altered course to shadow them and we found ourselves this morning several miles ahead of the other two and trying to pick up their conversations on the VHF. The Blue Peter's VHF transmission is weak so we have not been able to hear them at all and all messages have been relayed through True Blue. We switched off the engine and sailed with Sammy the mega lure out the back to slow us down and they were catching us up throughout the day. However, they seem to have decided at some stage this afternoon to motor through the wind "hole" that we are entering on the rhumb line to Barbados which does not really suit our plans and we may therefore be diverging over the course of this evening. I want to continue on our South Westerly course until we reach the 12 degree latitude in order to improve the wind angle for Grenada when we finally get the wind. So….long story short….we are back to our own company for now. And very good company it is too!

Most importantly, I made my first noon site today and was delighted to get a result within 25 miles of our GPS position. Now, I realise that a 25 mile error on your satnav heading for Waitrose in Cobham would present a problem, but out here, 25 miles is not so bad! I am really excited about the prospect of refining my technique over the rest of our trip and feel very confident that I will be able to navigate into our berth in Port St Louis using just Polaris and my trusty sextant whilst blindfolded……we might keep the chart plotter on for the sake of form though. Don't want Raymarine's shares tanking just yet.

I regret to report that Sammy Senior has scared off all those cowardly tuna again and no Barracuda have turned up either. However, the good news is that Gary has also lost his lure - we are not beaten yet!

Ben has had another great day on "mother watch" and made excellent bread once again. We are over-dosing on fresh homemade bread on this voyage - bacon buttes for breakfast, smoked salmon and bread for lunch (with a little Cava to celebrate being a quarter of the way across), bread and jam for tea. It is just a bit too tasty - and, of course, does not keep well! I have had to start doing the sit-ups and press-ups nonsense that Ben and Alex have been playing at. It won't be long before I snag a joint/muscle/tendon doing that and return to enjoying the enforced lethargy of a regime based on sitting around in the sun and sleeping a lot. These Atlantic adventures are truly tough experiences.

Meanwhile, it is about time for a sundowner and Ben's imitation of Sal's chicken curry (using only a third of the necessary ingredients, I suspect) before another velvet sunset puts us all in the mood for a movie and bed.