20:41.8N 33:55.7W Atlantic Blog 2

Madeleine and Martin
Mon 17 Dec 2012 10:38
2000 Friday 14th December Day 5.
It’s a mystery! Something in the saloon is beginning to smell. We’ve checked all the usual suspects but no clue as yet. We both had showers this morning – an interesting experience in this motion – so it’s not us. (You may deduce from this riveting bit of personal info that the water tanks are full; the watermaker is working well.) The temperature is 26 degrees and the humidity is a comfortable 60%. The hatches are open so there’s a breeze through the boat. As I say, it’s a mystery. We found a flying fish on the deck yesterday so we’ll have a look in the morning to see if there are any other passengers on deck that are going off!
2000 Saturday 15th Day 6.
Since midnight last night we’ve had a steady 5 to 6 (20 –23 Knots) from ESE – near perfect sailing under a cloudless sky. Of course the sea joins in the general exuberance after a while as there’s nothing between us and Africa 750 miles away. Gaining a few bruises as we get pushed around and its all too easy to enter the “farce of the day” competition trying to put on a pair of trousers! Now settling down for the evening after another superb supper. Chicken Adobo, a Filipino dish, marinated in wine vinegar and [   ]  and then put in the slow cooker, with the rice in the top drawer, for three hours. For the record, catering standards on this vessel, in this seaway, are amazing. So, the ineffable K T Tunstall on the turntable, a sliver of new moon on the western horizon and the palladium of stars – careful, mustn't sound as though we are enjoying ourselves; this is supposed to be tough!
2000 Sunday 16th Day 7.
A day of mixed fortunes. In the galley, bread making was the order of the day. In a seaway this is a highly technical operation involving clamping the bread maker to the top of the gimballed cooker so that it remains horizontal in at least one plain. All well and good; bread making in full swing. However, this means that the six eggs and all the trimmings lunchtime omelette could not be cooked in a pan. No problem, the generator is running, make the omelette in the microwave.  Unfortunately the microwave is NOT gimballed......if you can see where this is going turn away now............. six eggs and all the trimmings goes a very long way; inside the microwave, under the microwave, down the cupboard front, over the floor, under the floor and into the beer stores. To cap it all, a rogue wave made a dash for freedom through the recently opened forward saloon hatch. Another 20 minutes mopping. Never mind, take the positives; Monday was going to be wash day anyway; the somewhat reduced omelette of dubious provenance was excellent and the bread is a triumph. On the sailing front, we notched up our first 1000 miles in exactly 6 days and put in a noon to noon of 177. Not bad. However, for the first time, we have drifted south of our “perfect track” and continue to be anything between 10 and 20 degrees off the preferred course. The forecast for the next two or three days is for lighter winds and therefore slower progress. We will take it easy tonight but probably go for the full downwind rig on Monday; roughly the equivalent of hanging out all the washing, large and smalls. Hope nobody sees us!