Thursday, 6 February 2014

All At Sea

Blue skies, blue seas and fluffy clouds, perfect downwind sailing when we
have some wind. Currently doing about 6 knots with the jib poled out and a
reef in the main. Joe and Kevin have finished a post-prandial knitting
session proving only that sailing without the main up is just too rolly;
they attempted using the main boom as a pole for the genoa but the angles
will not work with too many places to chaff sheets on so following that
exercise up by poling out the working jib as an extra foresail is not an
option. Meanwhile every spare sheet and block seemed to be knocking around
in the cockpit. It has been suggested that tomorrows exercise will be to
launch the dinghy using the spinnaker. This morning we lost the big rapala
to something even bigger, the Naviguesser's knot tying has been blamed,
there is now a fish out there with a metre of line and a foot long rapala',
now towing the Turkish fish shaped spinner which caught nothing yesterday.

After 24 hours of light winds Temptress is at last in her element striding
south west in the trade winds. Lots of dolphins the first day including some
spotted ones with white beaks that swam off the stern of the boat just south
of Gran Canaria during the first afternoon at sea but none since. Also on
our wildlife list a few storm petrels of some sort, difficult to identify
exactly which when they are on the wing, a couple of turtles and three
ships. After much planning of watch rota's we eventually decided on one we
hadn't thought of - two crew on watch for four hours from 19:00 until 07:00
meaning the first "on" pair get two watches, the other one and we swap first
watch each evening. Seems to work well so far with Kevin and Paul in one
watch and Joe and I (Susie) taking the other. Lots of star gazing and tea
making but little else. All the bad backs seem to be in remission though
Paul has stuck to washing up and helming, only casualty so far has been one
melamine cup - they don't bounce it seems when propelled off a rolling

Made 124nm through the water on our first noon to noon run, having
conveniently left Las Palmas exactly at noon then put the clocks back one
hour to Cape Verdian time zone , UT-1 it was actually a 25 hour period. Our
second noon to noon was 140nm as windier. Have motored part of each night so
far due to lack of stuff to fill the sails. Another 580 nm to go as we
write, all well on board though we fear for some crew's sanity; a few
surreal remarks have been recorded including this classic from Joe "Great to
be breathing fresh air, those Polish guys can't use a plaster knife."
Collapse of crew in hysterical giggles whilst he tried to dig himself out of
a hole and complete what he claimed was his train of thought... something
about poor plasterers needing to sand their work creating dust...

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