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Celebrating a full week at sea!

Finally a warm dry night when oilies were not required, tho' both the

Skipper and Paul reported a few drops of rain on their watches but each time

by the time they'd realised what it was it had stopped. The forecast we

downloaded yesterday via the sat phone is for 20 knots ESE/E/NE all the way

through to next Tuesday when it may drop to 15. First thing Squid Vicious

was replaced by the small rapala as some fairly serious injuries were

inflicted by the one bite we got yesterday almost complete straightening one

of his triple hook sets and trimming some of the fringing.

After breakfast (last mangoes and pineapple with yoghurt) the mainsail

finally went up and the genoa was poled out to port. Like this Temptress is

much better balanced making it more comfortable down below but we still get

the occasional collection of seas that set everything rocking and rolling,

catching out the unwary. The non-slip matting is a brilliant wheeze but even

it has it's limits against the law of gravity so inevitably things like mugs

(melamine fortunately), wooden spoons, butter tubs etc go flying around. And

in the cockpit don't be lured into lying along the seat snoozing in the sun

as sooner rather than later you'll end up being tipped onto the floor or

further on to the lap of the person opposite.

Spent sometime this morning sort veg in the cool box and had as a result a

large pot of homemade tomato soup for lunch, delicious and so simply – chop

up a dozen or so over ripe beefsteak toms, add a drizzle of olive oil and

gently sweat in a lidded pan, add basil and garlic then simmer for half an

hour or more before blending and adjusting the seasoning with sugar and

salt. The carrots look a bit sad so got a trim and a salt water wash and the

remaining chinese leaf is a bit squidgy but both should last a few more days

yet. Still have some sprouting potatoes, 3 butternut squashes, several

cabbages and a mass of onions plus peppers, courgettes and two leeks to

eat – our mass veg purchase in Las Palmas market over two weeks ago has

proved to be an excellent one. Still have a dozen or more apples and a few

mandarins and lemons plus a few kiwi fruits. After that it is on to canned

or dried fruit and canned or bottled veg. We already know that come the

weekend suppers will be made with tinned meat balls, corned beef, chorizo or

as a last resort tinned ham.

Today's noon to noon run was over 25 hours (see yesterday's report) and came

in at a mediocre 153nm with some crew wildly optimistic in their pre-reveal

guess and others fairly accurate, hopefully with the main up tomorrow's

progress will be much improved. The halfway point came and went soon after

lunch. It was celebrated with today's Tropical followed by yet another game

of Pooh Cans then by cups of tea all round. We certainly know how to party

on this boat. The bimini has been up much of the day not as an umbrella, its

usual use so far this trip, but as shade from the midday sun. The laundry –

t-towels are the only thing it seems in short supply on board – dried within

a couple of hours of hanging it on the rails. The afternoon has been spent

reading or snoozing, we wouldn't want to exert ourselves! Perhaps we really

have reached the Tropics. Less than 1000 miles to go but we are all happy

just to be sailing still.