Sun 3 Feb 2013 16:42
15:09.77N 34:22.07W

With the evening came stronger winds and rain squalls. I'd forgotten about rain on passage, it's been so long since we had any. I discovered I'd also forgotten about the fabric companionway cover I was going to make to keep the rain out without having to close up completely. Oops. Must remember before next passage!

We had fish and chips for supper. Seemed the sort of thing to have on a cloudy, windy evening. Dorado fillets, lightly pan fried in butter with lemon juice, with oven baked chips made from what we thought were sweet potatoes, but weren't. They seemed a sort of cross between yams and sweet potatoes, but they were nice anyway!

The first part of my watch the moon was not yet up, so the sea was just blackness with the occasional splash of phosphorescent white foam breaking on the swell. The mast was a black silhouette against the stars as the sky was clear right above, although lightning flickered across the clouds low on the horizon to the North and West. We were aware that the wind was due to strengthen and go more Northwards so we'd taken down the twin poled out jibs and we were reaching on partly furled jib, staysail and mizzen. We streaked along, with the increasing swell on our quarter. Ever now and again a wave would come and knock our stern to port, swinging us round a little and setting us rolling. In the daylight this is a delight: you see the swell approaching, feel the push and the swing, watch the bow wave flow swooshing past as she corrects and rights herself, whilst you pivot on your hips if seated, on your knees if standing. In the pitch black you couldn't see the swell at all, just the mast swinging across the stars above as you are rocked, taken off guard, from one side to the other, whilst the lightning licked around the horizon. It was a bit disconcerting! But with the moon came context, and I felt happy again.

On deck this morning there were 9 flying fish. I'd already got breakfast ready (ham and cheese pancakes) so Phil filleted them and we had them in sandwiches for lunch - really good. I guess you could consider them the boat version of road kill.

We heard briefly from Limbo on VHF, but haven't been a able to raise them today. We're out of range from Amorosa and Tara Tari now, but yesterday we heard from them. All going well, but they've parted company as Amorosa was too fast for Tara Tari.

A very different below-decks day today, just popping up into the warm rain to check the horizon or adjust a sail. Ben watched a DVD on his computer, Steve did some cooking (Greater Anberjack fidua for supper!), Phil scraped the flying fish scales off himself and started this and that, but couldn't settle to one thing, missing being on deck. And I am finally reading a book: not an instructive book or a reference book, and not in little chunks, just a relaxing interesting book, whole chapters at a time!

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