logo Lady Stardust Faro-Portugal to Barcelona - 2010
Date: 11 Dec 2006 20:16:10
Title: Christmas declared on Lady Stardust!

I had been feeling sorry for Paul, who despite daily attempts, had had no luck catching a fish.  Some of the guys in the Arc fleet have been running a competition to see who can catch most fish.  From the radio broadcasts, we've learned that some have caught dozens, one man caught a Blue Marlin and others boasted of nine or more Dorado - and Paul hadn't caught one!  I have to confess that I couldn't help but feel secretly pleased each time his line came up empty, though.  I had mixed feelings, therefore when he caught such a huge fish on Saturday evening - it didn't help that I happened to see the baited hook in its mouth although thankfully I missed the killing of it.  I could tell Paul was pleased with it and reminded myself that I was eating and enjoying fish myself until I stopped five years ago.  Anyway I took photos of him with it and he prepared half of it for the oven, which when cooked, he declared delicious, though we still have no idea what sort of fish it is.
Earlier in the day we heard a yacht report that they had spotted three Whales in the area close to us and I had mixed feelings about this, too.  Much as I would dearly love to see one there are real dangers to be aware of.  One yacht had already reported hitting one last week, which aside from the risk of damaging the boat carries the risk of injuring the Whale (we are invading their territory after all).  Paul told me that Whales have been known to flip boats over or ram them, especially if they have calves to protect.  I was slightly apprehensive on my midnight watch to begin with, wondering if any were out there, but soon relaxed listening to The Band, watching shooting stars and enjoying the mild warm wind. It's definitely getting warmer by the day now we're advancing on the Caribbean. 
SUN 10th. Paul spotted a rip in the genoa this morning which meant that he had to balance precariously on the bow with sail repair tape to fix it while I took photos - at least the sea is a lot calmer now.  After refilling the tank with diesel we removed to the cockpit for the daily dishwashing chore.  To conserve water we wash them in sea water which involves dangling a bucket over the guard rails and pulling it up heavy with water back up over the rails.  The one and only time I attempted it I ended up in a most ungainly position to avoid joining the bucket as it trailed along in the water - so Paul does it now, and I dry. 
At 1 o'clock we celebrated both the completion of two weeks at sea and the fact that the distance left to go dropped below 1,000 miles so after lunch we shared our second box of Irish chocolates, had a beer and relaxed in the sun. In the evening we put the Christmas tree up, which took all of five minutes and caused a few laughs as we unceremoniously hung it from the ceiling, draped a strand of tinsel round it and shoved the baubles on.  Paul completed it by ramming the star hard on top to ensure it stays there (no finesse involved with us!).  Anyway it looks ok and makes it seem bit more like Christmas is approaching - which, when you are cut off from all the festive music, TV ads, posters and shop windows, makes you realise how all the hype drives and urges you to go along with it all.  Not that I'm a 'down with Christmas advocate', it's just refreshing to be away from all that for once, especially after working in the thick of it in retail for sixteen years.
It's another baking hot day and all is going well here in the Atlantic.
Paul washing...
......and me drying.
The tree swaying back and forth (not many trees doing this I bet).

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