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Date: 12 Sep 2014 04:42:00
Title: All's well...

17:40.3S 159:35.2W

I know I say it every time, but it's lovely to be back on passage. We've had steady winds between 15 and 25 knots, no squalls to speak of, just passed through a front on the first night, swell on the port quarter, just a couple of meters so everything a passage should be!

One thing I've realised is how empty of life this ocean is in between the islands - like a desert between oases. After the first day we've seen no sea birds, no flying fish, no dolphins, no whales... not even a little one. I guess the sea birds and dolphins aren't here because the fish aren't here. The whales are presumably passing through, but they are clearly keeping their heads down and just getting the passage over before they can frolic and feast at the islands. As there are no fish just here, we've seen no fishing boats either - although we still have to keep a watch out because there are large fishing boats in the South Pacific, chasing tuna, either with long lines or huge nets, looking for the giant schools that are out here somewhere. Sometimes they have to travel for days before they can make a catch.

So we take turns on watch, spelling each other in the day if we need to catch up on sleep, and do little chores around the boat. We read (kindles are great for night watch - the ones with the built in back light mean you don't need to turn on a lamp and so don't spoil your night vision) and play sudoku, check the horizon and our course, adjust the sails. All very peaceful.

Oh, and we cook, of course:

Day 1: 'leftovers soup'. That's it.
Day 2: A little oatmeal with some fresh mango; chicken noodle soup (from a packet); chili con carne with green beans and rice.
Day 3: scrambled eggs on toast; potato and leek soup with bread sticks, followed by tinned pineapple with 'sauce' (It was out of date instant custard. It goes a strange colour and consistency a year or two after its use by date. I found three packets buried under some tins in the food store (under Jon's bed). It tasted better if you closed your eyes and considered it sauce instead of custard. I think I'll throw away the other two packets.); Chickpea and spinach with boat made nan bread and yoghurt sauce (from the Ottolenghi cook book - Yum!).

You'll have figured, it took us a day or so to find our sea legs, we didn't feel like eating much for 24 hours. We were given a lobster, ready cooked, by the family in Maupihaa as a parting gift. He's still sitting in the fridge. Perhaps tomorrow!

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