Whats for Sunday Lunch!! Day 7 Lazy Dawn's ocean passage

Sun 27 Nov 2005 20:06
Hi All been another fast and furious 24 hours on Lazy Dawn. Best total day run so far on the boat log 172.1 miles not too bad as we have had the full Genoa and 2 reefs in the main all the time. But with a good wind off the Port quarter average speed has been just over 7 knots and a little more comfortable than with the kite up, at least we could relax a bit!!
Weather still good bright skies, good visibility and almost too hot below. Now sleeping with no duvet, sheets or clothes (not a pretty sight!). As the saying goes you sail south till the butter melts and then you turn west. Well this year due to the unusual weather patterns and the tropical storm out west of us we have all had to sail a little further south than usual. The sea temperature is now a tropical 26.5 C and would be quite nice to swim in if we wanted to slow down...
The next 24 hours will be very interesting as the weather fronts to the south and west of us fight it out, we might get good clean air all the way south to the trades or be slapped in the face by Ellie and get some rain and wind on the nose.  But this will all become clear in the next 24  - 36 hours. We hope we have got it about right and will just keep the wind but who knows.
It's can feel a little isolated out here, so we keep a keen eye and ear out for other boats and chatter on the VHF. So just after midday as we went to launch the parasailor we were quite surprised to see a Beneteau 36.7 (smaller version of us) coming straight towards us. We don't think she was part of the ARC as she was heading due east, but it was quite bizarre to be almost on a collision course in the middle of the Atlantic as it is a rare occurrence to see any other boats at all, let alone a non ARC one.
Even so, the days are still flying by and we only just started listening to Bill Clinton's autobiography today when the day started hotting up...
Sunday lunch should be a traditional roast. Alas not really practical with a small 2 ring gas burner and tiny oven and limited gas, but we did get a decent steak to eat!! Finally the fish decided to commit suicide and jump on our hooks. First was a 16" long Dorado on my new rod (First landed fish of the trip), next was a much larger beast on the rod again. However this huge beast of the ocean will fight another day after jumping free off my hook after a good fight.
Then the lunch arrived on the trolling line ( The Yo Yo Yachtmaster ) This thing has a plastic fish attached to 30 meters of 500 LB line and then a plastic squid with a hook in it. After towing this thing over 500 miles I was starting to think it was a joke. However the Yo Yo had the last laugh. The line went tight and soon I was pulling in a huge Dorado. (This one would have fed a full race crew! ) After a very barbaric fight it was finally Gaffed (Picked out of the water by a big metal hook) and that was the easy bit!, Next was the killing, the winch handle made little impact even after a few good blows to the head and we decided to give the poor thing a drink of gin - this did the trick and soon it was dead!!
Well this did not last long, out came the divers knife and soon the cockpit looked like a scene from Hannibal the Cannibal. Blood and guts all over the place. The boat was rocking around in the swell and this made holding and gutting the fish quite a difficult act and with Jo and Peter taking pictures as the bloody thing kept jumping out of my grip and sliding around the deck, the wheel, the liferaft, the whole damn cockpit! But finally some good looking steaks were prepared and the rest returned to the Atlantic food chain. 30 five gallon buckets of water and a lot of scrubbing and the cockpit looks less like a crime scene. I just wish the smell would come out of my hands!!
After this ordeal I could not bring my self to the galley to cook it, just too traumatic. Jo jumped in and within 1.5 hours the Dorado had gone from predator to Sunday lunch and tasted fantastic with fresh new potatoes and garlic and green beans. This will be a meal to remember for a long time!!
Today will also be a day of milestones, First 1000 miles of the ARC completed (Happened at 18.29 UTC, Now less than 2000 miles to the finish. The longest ever trip aboard with out making landfall, this one will be broken now daily all the way to Rodney bay!! The Boat is handling well and all the systems are functional, the Water power generator is charging the batteries and we have not needed to top this up with the engine at all in the last 3 days fantastic, we think, the only system not working is the battery monitor as it reckons we have 15% battery life and should have run out by now. But the volts keep coming through and there is sufficient power to watch DVD's and write the Diary. However we have yet to really test our power consumption as the water maker is still idle and the tanks are still 80% full. The big question is will we shower or not? As you can see in the pictures we are not shaving either but soon I will have to as the beard is so itchy!!!!
Spirits are high on board, the lack of sleep is making us all a bit tired but all is well with the three of us!! Thanks again for the SMS's Please do remember that we can not reply to them via the SAT phone but they are great to receive!!
More tomorrow...  
Chris Jo & Peter
For those receiving this by email, see the rest of the diary of www.lazydawn.co.uk