Getting into the
Yesterday was a slow day. The wind was weak and the sea
was not really flat making for the slowest day we've had since leaving
the Cape Verdes.
Our excited crew on Passepartout decided to
hoist the spinnaker before breakfast.
Getting the spinnaker aloft always involves some
tension, no matter how many time you have done it before. Team work was good, and within half an hour the big white
sail was ahead of the boat. Our speed doubled and the previously off-track
course was amended beautifully towards our
But this wasn't easy in the big Atlantic swell.
Each time we shot down the face of a wave, the spinnaker deflated. It was a
fight to keep it in the right spot and nicely filled. However, we were
determined to have few hours of speed and fun. That was until Chris walked
around the decks and noticed how much pressure the spinnaker sheets were putting
on the railings. No racing today, we have to look after Passepartout and keep
her in good shape for the remaining 800 miles. So down came the
As a compromise we opened both headsails on
opposite tacks. The heading was good but we couldn't manage much speed. We
wallowed along like this for a few more hours before admitting defeat and
returning to the simplest downwind sail plan of jib only.
After dark the wind gods looked on us more favourably.
The breeze shifted slightly to the south and increased to around
eighteen knots. I'm writing this at 10 a.m. the following morning and
everything is holding, we are dead on course and our speed is steadily above 6
knots. I hope we manage to keep it up at least for a day.
Clocks on board are still set to GMT time but at
some point we will have a adjust them as we push further west. We are now at 47
degrees longitude so in theory should have our clocks set to GMT-3. (Working to
GMT we had sunrise today at 0945 which can't be correct!
The watch system is working great. We start the
nights at 22:00 GMT and stand watches of two and a half hours, rotating one
watch forward every night. Whoever has the first watch also has
to do the final one at 0800 the following morning, the other three do one
Yesterday we had rain showers all day but nothing too
dramatic; no thunder and lightning. The rain gave the decks a good wash and left
the air crisp and clear.
Chris managed to tune in some yachts very
close to the Caribbean and they
all reported lots of showers I hope the weather will clear
by the time we get there.
More from the galley
The freezer and the fridge (which both rely on the
same broken pump) have said their last word and died completely. We had to throw
some food to the fish but we'll do all right for meals.
We are down to the last fruits and veggies. apples,
melon, carrots, cabbage and grapefruits. I baked bread for the Friday night meal and the main course was a
wonderful fish with pommes de terre au gratin from chef de maison
The problem with having a chef on board who is also
the fisherman is that when we hook a fish which is going to taste the same
as the previous one, it gets thrown back into the ocean. every So far most
of the fish caught have been dorado, beautiful to look at but not up to the
chef's standards. He has tried changing the bait but some monster
from the deep has taken the bait, hook and leader wire and escaped.
Without the fridge I was worried about holding on to the
last of the eggs for much longer so on Saturday they went into a wonderful
tortilla Espanol made by Gabriella.
Later today I might try a recipe for Guinness bread. As
a last resort we have lots of pumpernickel bread which will keep for ever and
some part baked baguettes that are good for months.