Equatorial Easter

Mon 21 Apr 2014 00:37
09:23S 130:16W

Happy Easter! Being aware that rabbits, Easter or otherwise, hate to swim and have other priorities (I know there are at least three boats with kids on doing this passage) I decided I'd better play Easter Bunny this year and made Phil a sweetie filled Easter egg. It was dead tricky, particularly as in these climes chocolate melts at the ambient temperature so I'd be trying to work with something that was collapsing under my fingers. I used a little egg shaped shaker as a mould, covered it with cling film, repeatedly dipped half of it in chocolate, hardened it in the fridge, managed to remove it, did the same for the other side then filled them with jelly sweets and stuck the two together with more melted chocolate. All this had to be done at night when I was on watch and Phil was asleep. I was so proud of my efforts and so excited to give it to him. This morning I was on watch at dawn so I put it in an egg cup and carried it through to Phil in our cabin... when the boat lurched and it jumped out of the egg cup and smashed on the floor. Phil didn't even get to see it! But he was very happy with his Humpty Dumpty Easter egg anyway.

After a dolphin free week, Pantropic Spotted Dolphins came and joined us yesterday morning. A pod of about 50, including some very small calves. Quite a number of the pod had circler wounds on them, about 3 inches diameter. It seems that there is a small species of shark (Isistius Brasiliensis), known as the "cookie cutter shark" that takes bites out of bigger fish. They usually live off squid but when they see a chance they open wide, sink in their teeth, twist round and take a circular lump of flesh...Ow! With those around and plentiful regular sharks I'm going to be circumspect about swimming in the Marquesas.

We actually had to make a sail change yesterday. Apart from reefing and then letting out the reef we've not touched the sails since we started, 18 days ago. We dropped the staysail and goose winged out the yankee jib, leaving the main where it was. This was because the wind had turned more East than South East so it was getting hard to stay far enough North. According to the grib files, there's more wind further North so we want to stay at about this latitude then drop down when we get a little closer. We're going steadily but rather slowly today - hence trying to find more wind. The Furuno GPS unit we use has a function that shows how many hours to a way point, given the current speed. The problem has been that it only has room for three digits so the way point has to be less than 99 hours 59 minutes away and we've been waiting for the moment when it would decide we're close enough and tell us how long to go. That moment happened this morning, about 7, but then vanished again as we slowed down. Now, at 3 in the afternoon, it is still coming on and off as our speed varies from 4 to 6 knots. Just now, at a heady 5.4 knots, it tells us there's 95 hours 43 minutes to go!

I say 3 in the afternoon, and 7 this morning, but it's actually been an hour longer than that as we put the clocks back again this morning, as we have to do every 15 degrees West that we travel. That way the sun gets up and goes down at about the right time: 6am and 6pm. This is the third time we've done it this passage and we'll need to do so again before we get there, but just by half hour - Marquesas is 9 1/2 hours behind GMT. Now, that's tricky to get my head around!


Day 17: Baguette with bacon, onions and tomato; cerviche with baguette; seared tuna medallions then mandarins in orange jelly again, dauphinois potatoes and green beans.

Day 18 (Easter Sunday): Humpty Dumpty Easter egg; scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on toast; coffee and millionaire shortbread; ham with mustard sauce, dauphinois potatoes, roast pumpkin and carrots; sea food paella - well we had to eat tuna sometime today!

The baguettes were vacuum packed half baked, from Curacao. Oh, and the cress has finally sprouted! I was beginning to think I was the worst gardener in the world.

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