Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Temptress Does the Atlantic - Day 8

Celebrating a full week at sea!

Finally a warm dry night when oilies were not required, tho' both the
Skipper and Paul reported a few drops of rain on their watches but each time
by the time they'd realised what it was it had stopped. The forecast we
downloaded yesterday via the sat phone is for 20 knots ESE/E/NE all the way
through to next Tuesday when it may drop to 15. First thing Squid Vicious
was replaced by the small rapala as some fairly serious injuries were
inflicted by the one bite we got yesterday almost complete straightening one
of his triple hook sets and trimming some of the fringing.

After breakfast (last mangoes and pineapple with yoghurt) the mainsail
finally went up and the genoa was poled out to port. Like this Temptress is
much better balanced making it more comfortable down below but we still get
the occasional collection of seas that set everything rocking and rolling,
catching out the unwary. The non-slip matting is a brilliant wheeze but even
it has it's limits against the law of gravity so inevitably things like mugs
(melamine fortunately), wooden spoons, butter tubs etc go flying around. And
in the cockpit don't be lured into lying along the seat snoozing in the sun
as sooner rather than later you'll end up being tipped onto the floor or
further on to the lap of the person opposite.

Spent sometime this morning sort veg in the cool box and had as a result a
large pot of homemade tomato soup for lunch, delicious and so simply - chop
up a dozen or so over ripe beefsteak toms, add a drizzle of olive oil and
gently sweat in a lidded pan, add basil and garlic then simmer for half an
hour or more before blending and adjusting the seasoning with sugar and
salt. The carrots look a bit sad so got a trim and a salt water wash and the
remaining chinese leaf is a bit squidgy but both should last a few more days
yet. Still have some sprouting potatoes, 3 butternut squashes, several
cabbages and a mass of onions plus peppers, courgettes and two leeks to
eat - our mass veg purchase in Las Palmas market over two weeks ago has
proved to be an excellent one. Still have a dozen or more apples and a few
mandarins and lemons plus a few kiwi fruits. After that it is on to canned
or dried fruit and canned or bottled veg. We already know that come the
weekend suppers will be made with tinned meat balls, corned beef, chorizo or
as a last resort tinned ham.

Today's noon to noon run was over 25 hours (see yesterday's report) and came
in at a mediocre 153nm with some crew wildly optimistic in their pre-reveal
guess and others fairly accurate, hopefully with the main up tomorrow's
progress will be much improved. The halfway point came and went soon after
lunch. It was celebrated with today's Tropical followed by yet another game
of Pooh Cans then by cups of tea all round. We certainly know how to party
on this boat. The bimini has been up much of the day not as an umbrella, its
usual use so far this trip, but as shade from the midday sun. The laundry -
t-towels are the only thing it seems in short supply on board - dried within
a couple of hours of hanging it on the rails. The afternoon has been spent
reading or snoozing, we wouldn't want to exert ourselves! Perhaps we really
have reached the Tropics. Less than 1000 miles to go but we are all happy
just to be sailing still.

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