22/08/2015 – Random Musings

Sailors are rarely satisfied. A couple of days ago we had too much wind, now there is not enough. The direction is wrong, or rather we could sail faster in the weak breeze if it would just wander around 30-40 degrees in either direction. One positive is that the seas are a lot calmer so living on board is easier. My next thought concerns making life easier for the galley slave who often does the provisioning as well. As we sail double handed I know how much rice we like so, to save the trouble of measuring it or weighing it in a rolly boat on an ocean passage, I weigh up meal size amounts and put them in small zip lock bags in my rice canister. I do the same with instant mashed potato flakes, a useful standby, but the packets are always far too big for two people. In the canister with the bags of potato flakes is an encapsulated note with the cooking instructions. My final thought on this subject concerns milk. Long life milk now tastes quite acceptable and readily available almost everywhere we have been though not always what we want. In some countries skim and semi skim are unavailable. The one exception was Bermuda in 2010 where long life milk was not sold, a nasty surprise when you are trying to provision for two weeks. It is, however, heavy to carry back to the boat, takes up a lot of space and adds extra weight to the boat. Our solution is powdered milk but do try some before you stock up the boat for an extended cruise. Asturianas milk powder, available throughout Spain, is a creamy tasting skim milk, clearly a contradiction in terms! 1 kg makes up into 10 litres, a weight saving of 90%, but it is quite expensive. NIDO, available throughout the Caribbean, is reportedly very good but was only available in full cream. Nestle from New Zealand, available throughout the Pacific, is good but expensive and only full cream though makes excellent yogurt when you run out of Easiyo, another New Zealand product which is cheaper than fresh yogurt in NZ. Powdered milk bought in New Zealand was cheaper than fresh, and was very good as was that bought in Australia. Before a passage I now weigh out enough 100gr bags of powder to make up a litre a day for the duration. We have two calibrated bottles and it mixes up very easily. I just wish we had made the switch somewhat sooner in our cruising life. End of the Galley Slave’s musings. Our progress towards Darwin is steady but not spectacular. We have another 207 miles to the waypoint off the Dundas Straight, our next tidal gate. It is important that we arrive there at about 1900 on Sunday evening then the passage through the straight and across the Van Dieman Gulf should enable us to approach the final tidal gate in the Clarence Straight on a favourable tide. We would like to average 6 knots but the wind isn’t helping. If necessary we will motor sail to make sure we get there in time. We are currently some way behind Firefly and Exody but are all planning to go through at the same time having all done the necessary calculations individually then compared notes during a chat on SSB. We are too spread out for VHF contact. Yes, this is another recommendation! Satphones are great for sending and receiving e-mails and much more reliable than using SSB but you can only voice call one person at a time and it is fairly expensive, SSB allows you to chat and take part in cruiser nets around the world. SSB has a higher original cost, but no call costs. As you can tell, not a lot happened in the last 24 hours except my iPad has put itself onto Darwin time, 30 minutes earlier than Cairn’s time! The one really stunning item was an e-mail from my brother reporting our grand-daughter’s Facebook post: 8 A*s, one of which was 100%, and 3 As, one of which was 1 mark short of A*, and the best set of results the school has ever had. Very well done Chloe! Joyce

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *