Almost one week out

Tonight we are thundering along. There is no need for deck lights. The moon is half full and lights up the sea in front of us and the deck. You can clearly see the seas ahead and more importantly pick out the clouds and spot squalls. I’m grateful there are none in sight.

Squalls at sea have a different meaning to squalls on land. Here in the tropics you can see them and the massive energy release of wind and water. They are like dark grey stacks on the skyline. To sail under one means heavy downpours (which can be great if you’re short on water and want a shower) and fierce winds. It;s not uncommon for 20 knots of wind to become 30-35 knots in a heartbeat. Get the sails wrong and you’re overcanvased and in a bit of a pickle. Either pinned on your side or flogging/ shredding sails or hanging on as the boat furiously accelerates. We’ve been through a few so far and have reduced sail in good time or altered course to sail around them.

The breeze is good – we have a constant 20 knots from the East North East and we are sailing at 8-9 knots. Its fast and bouncy. Grateful all our crew now firmly have their sea legs.

Today has a been a super Sunday. The day started with our largest fish yet. A 7 lb Dorado. Beautiful to look at and equally tasty. Columbus is set on making Dorado fish fingers so a good part of the day was spent filleting and carving fish finger shaped pieces of flesh. We have breadcrumbs so perhaps this is Columbus first venture – ethically sourced speciality fish fingers. We’ll let you know how the taste tests go!

Jani and Bluebell excelled themselves cooking Roast Lamb with all the trimmings. I’m certain we are eating better than at any time since we’ve been at sea. Probably a lot longer than that in fact! We’re trying to convince Jani to come and sail the Pacific with us…he has also been brilliant at taking Bluebell under his wing and getting here involved in all the cooking which is thriving on. Children without active roles and things to do quickly become terrorists at sea so having plenty for them to do is essential.

There have been a couple of colds on board – head aches and sniffles. Lots of limes and lemons are the order of the day to crack that one.

Time is flying. Tomorrow will be one week since we left Las Palmas and we’ve covered c1,000 miles so far with 1,700 to go.

Right. Back to sailing Aretha and catching the boat we can see up ahead of us.

Over and out from Aretha.

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