All At Sea

Blue skies, blue seas and fluffy clouds, perfect downwind sailing when we

have some wind. Currently doing about 6 knots with the jib poled out and a

reef in the main. Joe and Kevin have finished a post-prandial knitting

session proving only that sailing without the main up is just too rolly;

they attempted using the main boom as a pole for the genoa but the angles

will not work with too many places to chaff sheets on so following that

exercise up by poling out the working jib as an extra foresail is not an

option. Meanwhile every spare sheet and block seemed to be knocking around

in the cockpit. It has been suggested that tomorrows exercise will be to

launch the dinghy using the spinnaker. This morning we lost the big rapala

to something even bigger, the Naviguesser's knot tying has been blamed,

there is now a fish out there with a metre of line and a foot long rapala',

now towing the Turkish fish shaped spinner which caught nothing yesterday.

After 24 hours of light winds Temptress is at last in her element striding

south west in the trade winds. Lots of dolphins the first day including some

spotted ones with white beaks that swam off the stern of the boat just south

of Gran Canaria during the first afternoon at sea but none since. Also on

our wildlife list a few storm petrels of some sort, difficult to identify

exactly which when they are on the wing, a couple of turtles and three

ships. After much planning of watch rota's we eventually decided on one we

hadn't thought of – two crew on watch for four hours from 19:00 until 07:00

meaning the first “on” pair get two watches, the other one and we swap first

watch each evening. Seems to work well so far with Kevin and Paul in one

watch and Joe and I (Susie) taking the other. Lots of star gazing and tea

making but little else. All the bad backs seem to be in remission though

Paul has stuck to washing up and helming, only casualty so far has been one

melamine cup – they don't bounce it seems when propelled off a rolling


Made 124nm through the water on our first noon to noon run, having

conveniently left Las Palmas exactly at noon then put the clocks back one

hour to Cape Verdian time zone , UT-1 it was actually a 25 hour period. Our

second noon to noon was 140nm as windier. Have motored part of each night so

far due to lack of stuff to fill the sails. Another 580 nm to go as we

write, all well on board though we fear for some crew's sanity; a few

surreal remarks have been recorded including this classic from Joe “Great to

be breathing fresh air, those Polish guys can't use a plaster knife.”

Collapse of crew in hysterical giggles whilst he tried to dig himself out of

a hole and complete what he claimed was his train of thought… something

about poor plasterers needing to sand their work creating dust…