17:12:31N 50:45:47W

ARC 2014 Blog for Yacht 'Jo'
Ted Watts/ Mark Watts
Sun 7 Dec 2014 18:07

Sunday 7th December 2014

Either one pot dinner or salads tend to be the easier options when cooking aboard. However judging the quantity a pot will hold when assembling dinner is often hit or miss. Last night we were well above the plimsoll line of the skillet used for the chicken Provencal and much as I tried to reduce the sauce we suffered the odd spillage despite the fact that the stove is gimbled. Cleaning behind the stove will be one of those choice jobs when we arrive! We have also discovered another of those unwritten rules of the sea that conditions will always deteriorate as soon as anyone starts to prepare a meal. We now are fairly well acquainted with the ‘safe zones’ for placing cooking items, however, there will always be that rogue wave that catches us out.

It was sometime after the honey rum fruit salad for desert that Alastair announced with great consternation that there was a huge passenger liner to our stern coming straight at us. We all looked, and whilst there was no sign of it just 10 minutes earlier, there it was; I counted at least 5 stories, all illuminated within a large rectangular outline. I sprinted below and switched on the tri-colour masthead light and George shouted down to also switch on the deck lights so they would see us. In the meantime Ian and I were trying to identify her on the radar/ chart plotter. I knew something was up when I heard sniggers from on deck just a few minutes later. This is not the first time, nor probably the last that the moon appearing over the horizon looks nothing like a moon until it climbs higher. Strong stuff that honey rum fruit salad!

Much of the banter is now beginning to focus on what we are going to do when we arrive? The most popular answers are rum punches, diving, sightseeing and some way down the list cleaning and repairing the boat! All the cushions have acquired a moist, soft quality which comes from the humid marine environment that we are living in. I for one will look forward to giving everything a good airing.

Last night we put in a solid performance; approximately 190nm under our belt in a 24 hr period (03:00 – 03:00), not bad for a small 43’ boat. The boat was once again screaming along at 8-9 knots on a flat broad reach (120 ° off the wind) making straight for our rhumb line of 255°T. Today, winds have moderated though we are experiencing the odd squall. If possible, we steer a course around them, however, some are so large we have to go through them though none have been as severe as we were warned about. At around lunch, the wind died, the rain started and we are now bobbing on a very lumpy sea, dead downwind with 10 knots (T) of wind and just under 5 knots boat speed over the ground. We’ll give it a bit longer before we decide whether or not to motor. We won’t take that decision lightly as there’s a time weighted correction factor for motoring we’d rather not incur.

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