Between the monsoons.
Sun 13 Nov 2016 10:02
The days are baked. The wind drops and we motor sail across the shiny mirror surface of the sea. We pass a solitary fisherman, sat in his 23ft thin motor boat, dolphins hardly bothering to break the surface as they slowly porpoise beside him, languid in the midday sun. We're 25 miles from the nearest land and he has no shelter. At least he had a hat on. When on deck we slip from tiny pocket of shade to tiny pocket of shade, moving fast so our feet won't burn and avoiding, at all costs, the brass strip across the top of the companionway. The sea is bright - too bright, we grab sun glasses and hats to protect ourselves from its onslaught but still we screw up our faces to scan the horizon and would rather look at the wind instrument display than glance up at the masthead to see if what little wind there is has shifted.
Slowly, the shadows lengthen: there are reliable patches of shade that won't suddenly leave you exposed when the boat sways with the swell. The Western sky ahead of us blossoms into colour and finally we can bear to look at the sun, crimson as an under-ripe cherry, dropping from the line of clouds into the sea. And that's the moment. The moment when we become aware that behind us, unseen against the brightness of the sky, the moon has been rising and now the sun has gone she is filling the world with her glory.
The sea that was too bright to look at now gently glows with the soft sheen of an antique mirror backed with silver, only marred by the tracks of expanding circles that mark the runways of the flying fish.
Then in the night the wind builds and we - Oh relief! can turn off the engine and sail, bumpy and slow with the wind ahead, but properly sailing, as we play at dodging the thunderstorms and container ships that are also traveling along this highway.
Day 2 - Lunch: cup-a-soup with sun dried tomato, basil and cheese flat bread. Supper: pasta and broad beans (frozen) with butter, black pepper and parmesan.
Day 3 - Breakfast: granola, boat-made yoghurt, frozen raspberries and a fresh watermelon and lime smoothie. Lunch: pot roast half leg of lamb, cooked with rosemary from the 'garden', with sweet potatoes, carrots and gravy.
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