Halfway to Madeira!

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Sat 10 Oct 2009 11:22

Noon Position: 34:49N 013:15W

10 October 2010, 1300 hrs

Distance covered since noon yesterday: 154 miles


 We are now more than half way to Madeira and making satisfactory progress. The wind has remained in the NNE meaning we have been broad reaching on starboard tack (the wind coming from over our right shoulder for the landlubbers) and have just now goose-winged the yankee and poled it out. The wind speed has been more than forecast, last night reaching F7 for a while, but on this point of sail it doesn’t feel that strong and the motion is quite comfortable.


We have seen a small number of ships (and, indeed, had a friendly chat with one on the VHF radio) but apart from a sighting by Lawrence of one quail-like bird, there has been absolutely no sign of any wildlife which is disappointing.


Adrian has now fully recovered from his early bout of nausea and was able to enjoy, as we all did, the three large sea bass that Lawrence stuffed with onions and herbs and baked in the oven. It was a feast fit for the Gods and I would like to congratulate Lawrence on catching these fine fish – but to do so would be a lie as he bought them in the fish market in Lagos. Apart from my time in the north of Norway when, frankly, you could throw an old sock overboard on a piece of string and still haul in a cod or three, my success at fishing has been absolutely pathetic. Encouraged by my brother-in-law I “invested” in some serious fishing tackle earlier this year. I have had the damned stuff trolling behind the boat the length and breadth of the Mediterranean and the only winners so far have been the fish, who have gone off with an expensive selection of my best lures.


Talking of food, Adrian is hoping that we make sufficiently good progress to get into port by Sunday evening so he can avoid having to cook a meal. Lawrence and I are rather hoping the same thing, as apparently Adrian hasn’t cooked a meal for the best part of 50 years. But if push comes to shove, his wife Jeanette has armed him with a couple of recipes (by the way Jeanette, many thanks for the excellent slabs of dark chocolate, a chunk or two of which is a perfect compliment to a mug of well-laced coffee in the graveyard watch).


The temperature has been surprisingly cool. Whilst during the day it is shorts and T-shirts at a push, at nights it is definitely long trousers, sweaters and jackets on watch and duvets off watch. If we were following the transatlantic adage of “go South until the butter melts, then turn right” we still need to make a deal more southing.


Pushing the boundaries of technology, below should be a photo of the scribe and his long-suffering crew. I’ll try and send rather more artistic photos in the future!

Adrian, Tim and Lawrence half way to Madeira