10/04/2014 – Promise kept?

Currently it is 0605 on Thursday morning, the sun rose about 20 minutes ago and I am sitting in the cockpit with the laptop on a non-slip mat on the table. In the UK I think it is 1905, so ‘The Archers’ is on Radio 4. I am hopeful that this might reach you before midnight but I can’t remember how to send the blog by Sat phone so that will have to wait until John gets up in a few hours. Once sent, it is moderated by World Cruising Club to make sure it isn’t offensive in any way before it is posted. So I might have failed in my promise to write this the same day that you read it, unless you read it on www.yachtstarblazer.co.uk where it gets posted almost immediately. Yesterday was frustrating on several fronts. The wind went light and kept changing direction. We put the engine on at about 1400 and have been motoring ever since. Initially we left the genoas poled out but the wind kept getting behind one of them so we rolled them away, stowed the poles, re-routed the sheets then pulled them out onto the same side. During the night the wind got behind the inside sail and tried to gybe it so, first of all, John tried to tack both sails. That failed. We rolled them both away and will reconsider what to do when John gets up. On the fishing front yesterday’s score has to read Fish 2 – John -1. The line had only been out 5 minutes when it started pulling out. John slowly tensioned the drag and the rod tip bent alarmingly. He slowly played the fish but possibly should have given it a bit more line, after a brief struggle the fish got away. It had managed to bend all three hooks on the triple hook. The second strike came just before dusk when the line reeled out rapidly. The struggle was somewhat shorter but the result similar. This time the fish got away with the lure plus the two muppets with hooks ahead of the lure to act as a teaser. I suspect the knot must have pulled undone because the line John is using is braided rather than a nylon filament and, as such, is somewhat stronger than the fish considering the brief tussle that ensued. (John: unless it bit through the lot) The food, on the other hand, caused no problems. I made a frittata to go with a little salad and the Polenta bread for lunch, then for dinner we had had a Thai Red Chicken Curry with rice followed by apple and orange segments with a vanilla cream dessert. Yummy. We are still on target to arrive Friday morning. We currently have 124 miles to go to our waypoint so an average speed of just over 5 knots will see us arrive at sunrise. The Tuamotu Archipelago comprises 76 islands which are low lying coral atolls. Many of them do not have a navigable pass and they are strewn with coral heads to catch the unwary. We shall arrive in daylight! (Even if it means turning around and sailing back the way we have come for a while!) Joyce

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