We are having a lazy day, a good one for writing. Wind is exactly blowing toward our destination, which is a mixed blessing. Of course, a boat cannot possibly sail directly into the wind, but it is also difficult to sail directly away from the wind. The sails, being one in front of the other, tend to block each other, making the jibs flap around, which is hard on the sail, hard on the nerves, and makes it hard for the windvane, which has to apply different corrective forces, depending on which sails are drawing, and the wind direction. It is best to “tack downwind” under these conditions. For this reason, we are sailing a bit to the left of our ideal course. Conditions change hourly, so at this point, we can be flexible with our direction. There is no land to hit within 4 or 5 days sail, so we can relax.
It is 2:15 PM boat time. Salli is taking a nap. I am catching up on paperwork. Swell is 3 foot, and gently rolling, so our appetite is better, We had a good breakfast with eggs and coffee. We plan our meals around our appetite, but also around the safety of the cook. Even though our stove is gimbaled, when it is rough, hot liquids (oil and water), can be dangerous; the oven and pressure cooker, relatively safer. Tonight we will probably have fried pork chops, a dangerous meal. Our diet is also dependent on the state of our icebox. We filled it up with 18 kg of ice Thursday. It is Wednesday, and, because of the low water temperature, we probably have 1/3 of our ice left. We have pork chops, and a 1/2 kg of ground beef, good for two or three meals. After the ice is gone (Friday, or Saturday), we will have some cheese that will be good for another week or so, but mostly canned, and baked food, and UHT boxed milk. We have fruit, but only potatoes and onions for vegetables. The Azores was a good place to provision. They grow a lot of cattle there, which makes for good prices on beef and milk. The milk is only available in UHT boxes (Ultra High Temperature pasteurized), even though it is local. They also grow their own bananas, which are about half the size of our standard (Cavendish) South American bananas. They are also sweeter, and don’t get mushy as quickly; they have a custardy color and texture. We have only one left, and it will be sad to see it go. I would love to find out the variety name of this fruit.
Our cabin is a mess. We are using the starboard bunk/settee for sleeping, and are using the port bunk for “storage”; a place to throw clothes, papers, books, charging cables, phones, music, and pillows. All of this stuff is restrained with a “lee cloth”, a rugged piece of fabric that is clipped in position to prevent sleepers from rolling out of bed. When sleeping, the waves roll us around a bit. We sleep on the low side, so we are rolled toward the hull, and not off the bunk onto the floor. When we tack next, after a meeting of course, we will have to swap the two bunks, which will make for even more chaos.
We carry 50 gallons of water, and have an electric watermaker, and two manual watermakers. In the last 5 days, we have used less than 10 gallons. The weather is on the cool side, and we have been drinking less (and washing less), as a result. We also budget some water for washing salt out of the cockpit.
Salli does most of the cooking. I have my specialties, slow cooked bacon, barbecue, bread, and anything requiring a pressure cooker, but Salli generally cooks everything else, mostly, I believe, to keep my heavy hand away from the hot sauce. We usually eat in the cockpit, where we have a dining room that stretches to the horizon, where we can keep an eye on sailing progress, and where spills are easily cleaned with a bucket of seawater. When we are done, I wash the dishes in a bucket of salt water, and rinse them in fresh water using a garden sprayer; Salli drys them and puts them away.
When we are alone on watch, time can weigh heavy. Salli does some knitting, listens to audio books, and reads paper books when the sea is not too rough. I write and send emails, do minor repairs like sharpening knives and securing equipment, and watch movies, being careful to look around for traffic every 15 minutes or so.
We will be halfway in a couple days, always a great day.
David and Alison
Good blog and good progress. Cool weather and water sound nice. Much of the U.S. is slow cooking, well into the 90s and up. Central Mississippi might not break 90 today – a mild summer for us – if our July is ever really :mild.” .
So much for that beam wind that I wished you.
The little bananas sound good. I’ll schedule an Alison consult to see if they hang out in U.S.
Hmmm, your housekeeping in the cabin has a site here in Jackson as well, despite greatly more space available. No lee cloth necessary yet.
“Heavy hand” and “hot sauce” strike me as a desirable and natural pairing. Besides, you’ll need to be well provisioned when time comes to adjust the seasonings in those meat mixtures pictured and remarked uncharitably in an earlier blog – or was it facebook.
Speaking of heat, thanks for the reassuring descriptions about cooking safely. Amen.
Gotta go – much ado and to do. Thinking of your vista at dinner.
David and Alison
Just looked in on your position. The wind and sea gods remain agreeable.
Low 80s and a few kts of SE wind here, perfect epoxy weather.
Good wishes from A and I
David and Alison
0700 CDT (UTC -5:00) Monday July 22 –
Your track is looking good, but… Lots of wind – 20 kts with higher gusts – coming on to OO as of your note on Winlink on the 21st. Thinking of you both, on short rations with the winds and seas. ‘Hope that you’re able to keep a steady heading without too much trouble. .