Saturday 4th and on the run

Sue & Alan
Sat 4 Jan 2014 12:02
Soon after last noon update I got an idea. It was also dinner (lunch) time so eating had to wait. We decided to go under bare poles and gybe. A lengthy exercise swapping whisker pole from one side to t'other on a unpredictable moving surface. Took a good half hour (plus a bit) and still managed 2 - 3kn under bare poles whilst fiddling with our lines and eventually getting them right in the end. Some more than once too! Wonderful result though. Now very little cross track error (XTE) to our ideal course towards Barbados. Stb'd tack, very broad reaching on poled genoa. 6 - 7.5kn during daylight (one reef) and slightly less with 2 reefs in during dark. Tiny bit of moon showed up tonight so distinctly better for us. To celebrate our achievements we enjoyed fresh baguette (fresh frozen)+ giant melon + palma ham. Of course just one beer as well.
We also did a wash of everything worn to date. That means 5 pair of skiddies on each of us (remember this bit!!!!). We hung our washing line over the aft deck, fixing between antenna mast, radar mast and binimi. No problems so far. Nothing blew away. The assortment of colours much better than any flag to care for. With all this excitement I crashed-out for an hour or so, followed by Ray. Before dark t'was time to get the washing in (Sue knows a joke along these lines, which is pretty good). Nothing lost so far and everything in the bag. Ray had job of separating clothes. I'm putting mine away and began thinking "He must have some of my skiddies because I'm sure I washed more than this? Problem being "How do I ask Ray if he wants to be wearing my skiddies? Three times he re-appeared to reunite me with my undercarriage protection and we haven't spoken about it since.
We discussed tea (dinner) and decided on pan-fried salmon steak, fresh chips + fresh carrots. Timing is everything and we were running out so we decided to eat below-decks (in the warmth) after the 1900 SSB net. Everything prepared, no problems so far? Remember them skiddies - then forget it because they are safely stored by now! Remember the salmon? It didn't wanna defrost! SSB net over at half seven. Chips done nicely. Carrots also done to perfection (microwave). Salmon steaks in pan - still frozen. This is where we decided to re-invent the wheel. You might not already know this but best way to cook salmon steaks is to buy it in the shape of a cheese wedge, freeze it, part defrost it, fry it in virgin olive oil, then put it in microwave to defrost the inside meat and cook it a bit. Put the lot on plates just in time for the yacht to unexpectedly lurch violently .............. and where does this culinary delight end up? Unfortunately it stays there because the unexpected lurch has
spilt stuff all over place. Meal is put on hold whilst we clean-up. At same time something took a fancy to squiddy (in the dark too!). This additional distraction had to wait because everything else became our priority. Meal was delicious. Everything's cleaned-up. Another wash is on the go (one day early) and we're all cooking with gas. As for squiddy, I shouldn't have left out in the dark. Whatever dragged squiddy to the bitter end we'll never know because with lump hammer in hand, leather gloves at the ready, head-torch adorned, lifejacket & safety halyard on.............. squiddy came home unaccompanied and is now resting again 'till first light. Despite the moon showing a little of it's lower limb, its dark as dark can be for most of the night. This is fun. You never know when the next rogue wave is going to give the yacht a kick or two. This means 'human beware' because if it can move it can move anytime. For time being it's one hand for the boat and one hand for the boat......
where's the fun being an octopus anyway?
0500: Having eaten little later we put overnight watches back an hour. Me doing 9 - 1 followed by Ray's 1 - 5. My watch livened-up from time to time and when I put Ray on the shake he said how noisy & unsettled it was when lying down, even in the lower pullman sack. Me hits the sack & thinks "It's OK here" and off into land of nod I goes. Rude awakening. Express train coming through us? I gets up to see what's actually happening and Ray says "If anything the wind's dropped". Seems, as the wind temporary veers, as it does from time to time, this puts us more beam-on to sea and that's cause of the hyper-activity, 'orrible noise and wacky banging about. Certainly the time when its best to restrict any movement round the boat - inside (movement outside in the dark could be suicidal so it's a no-no without putting us under floodlights (which we have restored when I fitted new 'aircraft light bulbs' before we departed Santa Cruz, thankfully!). Throughout all this noise & movement, we stil
l have just our 2 reefed genoa held out by whisker pole averaging good 6kn wonderfully well............ and we have seen now't else on the water these last 24 hours, as expected.
1200: Squiddy is having a rest today. Rattler has gone for swim instead. Rattler is 2 x the size and about 4 - 6 time the weight of squiddy and 'rattles' Only reservation will be how big a fancier rattler might attract. Also replaced monofilament with dark green dyneema line. Every thing seems to originate from China nowadays? So rattler is out and doing it's stuff!
Wash No.2 is in the cockpit. This way there will be no visible signs when My Lover comes on board in Barbados with an inclination to do serupticious quickie inspection?

Barbados is now just 2213 NM away.
In last 24 hours
# Made good distance run is 148 NM
# Distance run through water is 152 NM
(Much much improved on previous 24 hours - fandabydozie! xxxx to my Lover & xxxx from ray to his Lover
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham = m0hng
At 04/01/2014 11:44 (utc) our position was 24°16.67'N 022°16.87'W