Firefly, 5 December 2001: Duncan is complaining because the bananas refuse to ripen and we could be in danger of taking coals to Newcastle if they are not ripe in the next week or so
Firefly, 5 December 2001
19° 25 N, 41° 12 W
Distance to St Lucia, 1,177 miles
Just how do you measure the half way mark on a passage like this? Is it distance from point of departure measured against distance to destination? Or is it mid-way differences in latitude and longitude?
By whatever way you measure it, Firefly crossed the divide well over 24 hours ago and is now steaming almost directly towards St Lucia, all sail set in 15 knots of breeze at 7 knots, under a blue sky and in the flattest sea we have seen since Las Palmas. This is what we came for.
To make the most of the quieter weather this morning has been taken up with domestics and deck tasks. Things like the cutlery rack, which has been a lucky dip glory hole, have been re-arranged and re-located. Duncan spotted a lone cockroach in the early hours and so after a big clean up of obvious places, several ‘roach motels have been laid.
These work by encouraging the cockroaches to nibble at some chemical they find irrestistable but which at the same time sterilises them and others the come into contact so in the end the boat is roach free. It’s a lot cleaner, anyway, than the trick used by some cruisers of mixing boric acid with condensed milk. They eat the paste and then explode.
The deck gear, apart from being encrusted in salt, looks in good order apart from some minor chafing.
On the food front, soon after sending yesterday’s copy Stewart landed our first Dorado. Not an enormous fish, about 2 kilos, but enough for the three of us to eat for supper, marinaded in lemon and fried in butter. The curry is on hold for another day. Duncan is complaining because the bananas refuse to ripen and we could be in danger of taking coals to Newcastle if they are not ripe in the next week or so.
Elsewhere on board, the fridge continues to chill the beer – a brand called Royal Dutch which we bought on special offer in Las Palmas for 7 pence per can. We took on board several slabs on the pretext that it was stocking up for the Caribbean. The same went for wine.
The real luxury, though, is to have fresh water, lashings of it so we can wash our clothes in fresh, shower every day if we wish and even rinse out glasses under a running tap. We normally run the engine for two or three hours a day to charge batteries and the watermaker for the same time which gives us 90 litres per day. A far cry from the warm beers and washing in salt water in the ARC six years ago.