First couple of days; monday/tuesday

Tue 21 Nov 2017 21:35
26:49.15N 20:37.92W
Writing this at 18-48 ship’s time on Tuesday in moderate seas and a decent 15-20 knot breeze – she’s sailing well!
Monday started with some excitement, for the first time in 750 miles (650 on the Portugal to Gran Canaria leg, and 100 or so on this one), we heard the fishing reel releasing and the saw the rod bend.  We had a biggy on the line.  So big that within a minute it broke the line and then within seconds it (or by coincidence, another fish) took out the a second line lure.  Two lost lures in 2 minutes but that got us excited because it is the closest we’ve come so far....only a matter of time?  All I can give you is a pic of the rods.  No fish..yet
Rik and Capn Guy had an arts and craft’s afternoon tarting up some lures with feathers and glitter, based on some rogue advice they received in GC. Rik’s lure looked a little Barbie-esque in its glitter and pink feathers, but if it does the job and catches a fish (Ken?) then that suits us!
The crew started a beard competition yesterday, although sadly the girls have refused to participate.  Such a shame because then the author of this doesn’t want to come last.  But we’re going to grow Movembers et al as best we can until St Lucia.  Here’s a picture taken Tuesday pm
Start of the beard competition
We had a sailing masterclass from professional skipper Guy.  Very useful brush up for most of us.  And we had a lights lesson from captn Rik which was good fun but pretty miserable as we only got about 10% completely correct.  10% is being generous, probably!
We had the spinnaker out most of the day, a great days sailing.  Predominant wind today was easterlies. which are of course behind us as we travel west to st lucia.  At one stage we had 3 sails up as we ran downwind – the genoa, spinnaker and the beautiful gen – a 230m2 blue sail.  For those that haven’t seen it, a pic taken from on board doesn’t capture its full magnificence but i’ve added one below to show all three sails up to give you some idea. 
Tuesday during the day the sea was smooth and the wind light.  We were engine-assisted most of the day although we had some power from the sails.  We took the opportunity to do some chores around the boat, mostly cleaning and tidying – keeping everything ship-shape.  One of the tasks was to clean the fenders.  Beautifully organised into efficient teams we had it done in no time...
While Guy carried on with the work and fixed the generator, the rest of the crew had our (hopefully) daily exercise class.  We started with yoga to warm up, some decent abs work, a little bit of HIT and later the TRX.  Everyone worked hard – a decent session. 
After the evening sunset, Rose cooked an amazing dish – a family recipe of chicken, italian cheese and other things bake – fantastic end to a great day.
Evening watches were fairly uneventful except we had to drop the 230m2 sail down at 3am, which makes it more interesting.
Heading more North now (tues eve) to try and pick up some more wind.  Looks like the trades will come in on Friday, so we’ve got to search for and find the best winds until then. 
So far so good, an amazing adventure.  See you tomorrow!