08/02/2014 – Calm!

This leg of the rally is expected to need a lot of diesel because we are in the area known as the doldrums, we hope we have enough. During the night the breeze dropped off but, as the prop was making a worrying rumbling sound, we plodded on under main and genoa. The wind veered (shifted clockwise) and we really should have changed the sailplan however we put it off until daylight with both of us on deck. The one job we did in the dark, at watch changeover, was to fit the gybe preventer in readiness for another wind shift. We ran for most of the day with twin genoas poled out and the mainsail, which we finally dropped mid-afternoon. The wind disappeared completely just as I was about to go off watch so we rolled the sails away and are now making steady progress under engine. The sea is a flat calm so we are making 6 knots easily on 1800 rpm. We caught a fish this morning. On the basis that I claimed our last one because I had set the line out with my rod, John could argue that this one was his but I beg to differ. Yes it was his rod but I’d put the line out, the bite happened within moments of John disappearing to the nav station for the ssb radio net, I reeled it in until close to the transom before shouting for help, John gaffed it and I fed it liquor for a happy death. It was a lovely tuna, not over large but enough for four generous servings. We had ceviche and a salad for lunch then marinaded and seared fillets with fresh veg for dinner. This could well be one of the shortest logs I’ve written because nothing has happened today. The two ships on the AIS won’t get closer than 15 miles so we won’t see them. The moon should set within an hour so the stars will shine more brightly for John’s next watch. We are still heading further south than strictly necessary because the direct route could well result in an uncomfortable day or so with headwinds if the GRIB files are to be believed. I should have made the effort to find a better head torch to illuminate the keyboard whilst typing this. The one I am using is floppy. Unless I hold it in position it dangles down, bashing my glasses in the process. We have others but this one came to hand! It is now time to put the kettle on to make a drink for John when I wake him up for his watch. Joyce

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