Fri 8 Feb 2013 17:17
Phew, it got warm yesterday. Below deck it was 87 F, about 31 C, and lots lots higher above deck. As we're no longer using the mizzen sail we put the cockpit awning up, first time whilst at sea, and that's giving us lots of cool shade to dive under. In fact, the deck got so hot it was uncomfortable to walk on it. So we used the deck hose to spray down the boat with sea water, and I took the opportunity to cool myself down too. It's a little frustrating; all around is beautiful clear blue water, we're on a hot boat and we can't just jump overboard to swim in it! We'd have to stop the boat, by taking all sail down, and even then she'd not stop completely... I'll just have to wait 'till Barbados. Sea temperature here is about 26 C by the way.
No fish! Well, that's not true, too big fish actually. The even bigger, chunkier line broke under the strain of trying to get a HUGE blue fish in. More lures lost. So, I did have to open a couple of cans; I made steak-no-kidney puddings with potatoes, carrots and cabbage. It made a pleasant change from fish, fish then fish actually, and has brought our can count up to about 6 so far this trip: 2 of tomatoes, 2 stewed steak, 1 sweetcorn and 1 of pears. We've not had too much spoilage: a few potatoes, a couple of oranges and some onions have bitten the dust. Lunch yesterday was leek and potato soup with Jemma's soda bread recipe.
The flying fish are still doing their best to entertain us; zig zagging their way across the waves, demonstrating their banking and hovering skills. Phil has a plan. He will capture some and tame them and develop Phil's Flying Fish display team, the Blue Streaks, a bit like the Red Arrows, only at a lower altitude. They'll perform to music of course.
During the night some rain squalls over took us to the North and South, but, apart from a couple of showers, they managed to avoid us. These caused some local wind variation, sending the wind from the South East for a while, and we also had some confused seas with cross swells, so we ended up rolling quite violently at times. When we came to plot our noontime position on the paper chart we discovered that one of the reasons for the confused sea is that we're going over a sea mount, it's about 650m deep here instead of 3,500 all around, so the water gets pushed upwards at deeper levels and causes confusion on the surface. We hadn't realised because a couple of days out from Cape Verdes the electronic chart plotter has no more information, not even depths, just a blank. I felt they should at least have written "Here be Dragons!". Being at sea is good for toning the body, adjusting all the time to the movement of the boat means you are continually making micro-movements but as I was lying in our bunk last night I was thinking it was a whole body work out just to stay put! Ben had a good solution on his watch: trying to sit at the chart table was too difficult so he put Bob Marley on his iPod, stood up and managed to dance with the swaying boat under him, getting in practice for Barbados.