ARC day 2 24/11/15

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Wed 25 Nov 2015 00:03
24:23.30N 18:29.07W

Day 2 – Nov 23
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Day 2 dawns cold and wet. Oilies were worn through a long and chilly night. 8am sees an early gybe to maintain our southerly course, mindful of unsavoury weather to the west. We're sailing the same course as Sir Francis Drake as well as countless galleons and pirate ships in times gone past. Off our port beam, Saharan Africa is a couple of days sailing; off our bow, several days due south, lie the Cape Verde Islands.

Ruby Rose and Belafonte have already turned west. Another ARC boat, Rhum, appears on the AIS screen for a while then disappears off on its chosen course. We're all alone in this vast ocean, as far as the eye can sea.

Nina is sailing well, averaging 8 knots still under two reefs in the main and half a headsail. Atlantic swells turn galley duties into a rock 'n roll affair. Both overnight watches report topping 10 and 12 knots respectively. Theoretical max speed is 1.83 times the square root of the waterline length:so wave surfing is clearly in evidence.

Night watches pass to the accompaniment of non-stop RTE Gold, a DAB station on Ireland playing all-time greatest hits. Frank recorded 40 hours of it over successive nights before leving home. No ads, DJs or news, just an an occasional station jingle. Thanks RTE! The nighttime watches are 8-12, 12-4 and 4-8. At this time of year of course, most of this is in darkness.

Later in the day, the waves ease enough to attempt cooking something. Chris heats up some tortillas and serve them with tomatoes. The parbaked bread turns out to be s big success sfter ten minutes in the oven.

Did we mention tomatoes? The newly reinforced net storage for tomatoes and bananas gives up for a second time, dropping tomatoes on the saloon table and sending others running around the boat. We are already losing an occasional orange into the sea when it falls from Mark's hammock which has been pressed into service as a sling on the aft superstructure.

So the word is out: Eat The Fruit. There is a two-for-one special offer on bananas on Nina, all this week.