Tales from the Pacific Day 20

Thursday 31 March

At the 01:00watch change last night we dropped in the 3rd reef as the wind and seas continued to build. In a F5 from the ESE Temptress romped along whilst one or other of her crew tried to sleep. Every so often a bigger sea would crash in tipping her over on to her leeward beam shooting the unfortunate off watch across the bunk or if they were already on the leeward side rolling them further disturbing their snoozing. You’d just drop off when it would happen again.

By morning to add to our discomfort it was raining. Another milestone was reach at 07:00- 2000nm through the water which allowed us to calculate that we have had over 600nm of current assistance since leaving Panama ie some 4 days of sailing for free! Though as you can see from today’s noon run figures that current is easing back a lot to barely half a knot so 12nm or less assistance per day recently.

Our last fresh meat was consumed for supper last night; chicken curry plus sag aloo. Temptress’ Indian restaurant has also realised we may be short on spices by the time we reach Tahiti. Tonight its corned beef hash by popular request.

This afternoons diversion was using up a tin of condensed milk that has been in the bilge tin store forever – its best before date was something illegible in 2014! It may have been there since 2002 as the label was Spanish. Anyway on the basis that tinned food doesn’t really go off and the contents smelt and tasted ok despite being the colour of toffee rather than cream it was time to use it up to make a batch of coconut ice or barfi. Combine it with an equal weight of icing sugar and as much dried coconut as it’ll take plus a good teaspoon of vanilla essences then press out onto a board to about 2cm thick and leave to dry. Cover to keep the flies off – and yes we still have a few remnants of the plague of black things hanging around, how they survive if anyone’s guess – and wait a few hours. A bit stickier than usual probably due to the heat and humidity but set quite well once refrigerated.

Noon to noon: through the water 149nm over the ground 159nm Noon position: 08 35.64S 117 14.98W
Distance to go: 1276nm