Day 9: drying out

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Mon 2 Dec 2013 15:21
> Monday 2 December 2013
> 17:59.48N
> 29:52.19W
> Course: 250
> Engine Hrs: 6 hours
> Day's Run: miles 114
> Total: 1156 miles
> Air Temperature 25.5C
> Water temperature 30C
> Wind speed: 6knts
> Wind direction: 330T
Yesterday we started to make a course towards Martinique.  Roger is watching the wind predictions and would like to make a bit more south: but the course of 253 is now a reality.  Late yesterday afternoon the wind, as predicted, went on the nose: so Bryan steered NW for a while until the veer was such that we could tack and go SE; from where it has continued to veer and the course is currently 246.  For the first time this morning the long Atlantic swell has set in.  The forecast is showing the the trade winds may start to re-establish themselves on Wednesday.  We've got all the hatches open to create a through draught.  The design of this boat is paying dividends!
After 48 hours of pretty well constant torrential rain we've been drying out.  On Saturday Lucy drew the short straw and was on mother watch in the worst of the weather.  The inverted coffee pot was a very low point!  But the sun has been out yesterday and today and everyone feels much better.  We used the rain that collected in the buckets and the dinghy to top up the drinking water and then to wash the dirty clothes, which are now hung out to dry on a makeshift washing line strung across the counter.  Great team work: Bryan acted as wringer-out in chief; Lucy rinsed and I wrung out the rinsed stuff and then we hung them out to dry.  This morning Lucy and I have washed our hair and feel new women.  (The guys got soaked through in the first squall and took the opportunity to shower on deck: I didn't look but suspect it was not a pretty sight. Bryan tells me that standing in the lee of the mainsail was the best point for water flow.)
We're managing  to conserve water and fuel amazingly well.  The engine is on at the moment to charge the batteries. run the bread maker and give a bit of momentum: only 4-5 knots of wind as I write.  But the fuel tank is still showing 3/4 full, and we have just under 500 litres of water. Almost everything that draws electricity is turned off unless required other than the fridge and the freezer, which means that the engine is only run every other day.  Washing up starts with rinsing the dirty plates in salt water from the hand pump; and then finishing off with washing up liquid in a litre of hot water from the kettle.  The Begosan sponges from Hospital Direct are a godsend: thank you Helen and Phil! -as they lather up in just a tablespoon of water.
Lucy has just told me that we're seeing domestic debris which means that we must be following in the track of another boat.....  Bryan has got the fishing line out but although the fish are jumping there are no bites yet (other than snagging his t-shirt)  I've cooked a tomato and basil soup for lunch to go with the bread.  Two onions and a tomato didn't survive the squall and have had to be jettisoned as low-flying organics; but by and large the fresh veg, tenderly wrapped in kitchen roll and sitting on veg cushions from Lakeland, are doing well.