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Date: 25 May 2010 15:16:00
Title: Atlantic Crossing - Day 10

32:10.360N 50:00.311W

13h30 UTC

The fish are jumpin’ …. On Sunday evening we caught our third, a Jackfish,
just as we were discussing which can to open – meatballs or bully beef.  So
Jackfish stir-fry it was, by Jon …. delicious.

The last few days we’ve all been quietly eyeing each other up and down
suspiciously.  A very nasty smell has been hanging about the boat.  Ok,
we’re not talking daily showers here, what with water rationing and the fact
that in these conditions it’s hard to keep one foot on the floor, let alone
two, but this particular smell was getting pretty ugly.  Finally, yesterday,
the culprit was found.  A red cabbage was discovered, rotting away, lurking
behind the vegetable basket in the galley.  Smells are a strange thing on
passage.  The only thing you can smell is you, the other crew, and the
cooking pot.  And occasionally the bilges. The ocean has no smell.  Even the
fish we catch are gutted, (and those bits thrown overboard immediately), and
cooked so quickly there is virtually nothing “fishy” in the air.  It is when
you near land that your nose starts twitching as its senses are awakened. 
On our crossing West, after 22 days at sea, we’ll always remember the smell
of earth and cement as we neared Barbados.  In Spain (Vigo) it was the pine
trees, and in Morocco spice, dust and musk.

Still not another ship in sight, and we have lost SSB radio contact with our
other friends out in the Atlantic.  This may be a temporary problem with the
atmospheric conditions as they are (All the storms the others are going
through and also we’re about 850 miles away from most of them).  However, we
are in email contact with most, and though 4 boats have been “hove-to” in
gale force winds for the last few days ("Spruce", "Rapau", "Aleria" & "Inga"
- either SW or W of us), our 2 single-handed friends are on their way – Roy
on “Guiding Light” with no engine, and Gerry on “Per Mare” who put his
customs-stripped boat back together and set off a few days ago.

Everything's good on board the good ship Talulah.  We're motoring through a
flat calm at the moment using one engine at a time, trying to keep ahead of
the nasty weather southwest of us, but the ever changing grib (weather
forecast download)files suggest that our (very light) wind may veer around
later and give us the gentlest of nudges in the right direction.  It's a
lovely cool, crisp, dry spring morning out here without a cloud in the sky,
and at long last the sea has calmed down for us too, with the longed for
rhythmic gentle Atlantic swell finally making an appearance(No slamming -
Hooray!) Ali is busy in the galley baking up a Banana, date and honey cake,
and also a loaf of soda bread.
As the crow flies (not that we have seen any) distances indicate that we are
exactly halfway between Antigua and Horta (Azores), being 1110 miles to
each, although we obviously have to still do a bit of weaving to reach
Horta. So we might even have a celebratory sundowner this evening! Cheers!


 




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