We are settling back into our routines. We are about 48 hours out of Horta and still have a nice breeze, though it is expected to diminish. Beautiful clear skies and clear horizons. Yesterday Jackie made oatmeal raisin and oatmeal chocolate cookies. Today we had banana pancakes for breakfast and Mary’s chili for dinner, along with homemade corn bread by Jackie. We saw a small sea turtle, lazily swimming on the surface.
This story for my other kids, who know how I am about crumbs on the boat. Jackie’s first corn bread was not to her satisfaction. We were nibbling on it in the cockpit before she discarded the rest, when she suddenly flung it backwards, over her head, upwind and to the high side. Already doomed, it then bounced off the highly tensioned running backstay and was shot back, in hundreds, nay thousands of pieces all over the cockpit cushions. It was so bad we laughed until we cried.
We had fun with the spinnaker yesterday. Perfect conditions. Dana, our resident sail trimmer, diligently flew the chute every second it was up. He had the exact same grin he exhibited in 35 knots of following wind, surfing down waves. Bill breathed a sigh of relief when we doused it without drama. It is a big spinnaker and can be a handful if the breeze picks up.
Dana found an old wooden lure on the boat and was convinced this was exactly what we needed. Not 10 minutes after putting it out, he caught our first fish, the elusive Blue Marlin. Apparently catching a Blue Marlin is a fisherman’s dream. These sportfish grow to as big as 1800 lbs and can take hours to land. Ours was slightly smaller, but Dana reeled the whole thing in by hand. We call him Santiago now. For the record, Blue Marlin are not endangered and we released ours.
Last night we had rolling and uneven seas, so that the boat pitched side to side in an irregular fashion. It is easy to sleep if you are consistently heeling in one direction, you just wedge into a corner. But here, you wedge one way, and then suddenly you are flopped on your face by a contrary list. The best solution is to curl up in fetal position and wedge yourself against either angle of heel. Not relaxing, but pretty effective. At least, until some object in some cabinet becomes dislodged by the selfsame forces and begins to go clonk-clonk, also in an uneven fashion. You then awake to go observe the cabinet for the offending bowl or dish or nautical object, only to have it go strangely silent. It is like hunting a night-time cricket. It took me 10 minutes to find and silence a tube of chapstick, mini-clonking side-to-side on my shelf. Steadier seas tonight, so we all hope to sleep better.
About 725 nautical miles to Gibraltar. Good night all.