Arc Day 6 - Happy Birthday Bro

Dick and Irene Craig
Fri 27 Nov 2009 19:19
Although we overtook Robinson yesterday, she made up some ground during the
early part of the night and was, at one stage, just 1.25 nautical miles
behind us. We rectified this during the early hours of this morning.

It was about this time that Circus showed on the radar. We called her about
9.30am. She had sailed further south than us and was now making her way
towards St. Lucia. Unfortunately, at the time of our initial conversation on
the VHF, Circus had problems with their auto pilot, so our chat was brief.
We are delighted to say that when they called us back about an hour later,
their problem had been fixed.

Yum, yum! Cooked breakfast this morning with toast, marmalade and jam, not
to mention freshly made coffee.

It didn't matter what watch the crew had been on, we all assembled at 9am,
the smell of the bacon cooking being too over-whelming to resist. Sleep
could wait.

Following the seminar on managing the electrics/battery power, which we all
attended in Las Palmas, we permitted our battery power to reduce to 52%.
This is the first time that we have ever done this, being somewhat paranoid
about it falling below 84%.

Everything appeared to function adequately but using 20+ amps per hour, we
prefer to keep the batteries topped up, so ran the generator for several
hours this morning.

We are fortunate to have on-board, an eleven kilowatt Onan generator which
can charge the batteries at over 200 amps.

Although we have two wind generators, four solar panels and two engines, we
really depend on the Onan to provide the power we need to support all of the
electrical equipment on board. In addition to the usual Raymarine
chart/radar, built-in gismos, all our winches are electric, we have two
fridges, a freezer and a washing machine to support, plus the add-ons, such
as air-conditioning, water maker, coffee maker, bread maker, toaster,
electric kettle, microwave, which doubles as a convection oven. The cook
doesn't care too much for the gas oven as the maximum temperature is only
160º centigrade.

The washing machine is only half size which means that, to ensure regular
changes of bed linen, towels and clothes, we seem to have to do washing five
days out of seven.

Although old fashioned, the SSB is great for networking with the other boats
while at sea. It is also, apparently, very popular with yachties in the

This morning, the soil around each of the basil plants was a bit dry so,
after the daily spray with fresh water, some water was also added to the

Having planned to cut Dick's hair before we left Las Palmas, time just
permit so today, sitting on the edge of the fore cockpit, he had a haircut.
See picture "Hair today, gone tomorrow".

Today is the birthday of Austin's brother and all of us on Tucanon wish him
a very happy birthday. See picture "happy birthday"

This morning we saw a flying fish the size of a seagull. This afternoon, a
Sheerwater flew around the boat, doing its thing in the same way that the
dolphins cavort around the boat. Austin fed it rich tea biscuits and it was
almost taking them out of his hand.

The rock cakes which I baked a couple of days ago have all disappeared
already. It's not as though we don't have loads of other snacks but these
are obviously a favourite so cook made another batch which this time all
remained on the tray to cool down, before being stored in one of the many
snack boxes.

In a determined effort to catch a fish today, we have two lines set at
different lengths, trailing behind us. If we don't manage to catch a fish
for the BBQ tonight, we will just have to resort to barbecuing the steak and
cooking the oven chips.

If we do catch a fish, what will happen to the steak is anybodys guess. In
fact, if we do catch a fish I for one won't want to have it killed. Visions
of using the fore cockpit as an aquarium.

Two carrots have started to deteriorate, one of the golden delicious apples
is bruised and two of the kiwi fruit are a bit soft. We will eat the carrots
tonight, with broccoli, at suppertime. The apple and one of the kiwi's were
used in the fruit salad at lunchtime. The rest of the kiwi's were moved into
a fruit conservation bag and placed in the fridge.

I have been conserving the bananas by wrapping them in paper and keeping
them in the fridge. It is possible that the skins might become a bit black
but the fruit inside is still firm.


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