Sunday, October 23, 2005

Self-steering off Africa

Fanastic days sailing yesterday - smooth seas, close-reach, making between 4-5knots in more or less the right direction. Once George II (our wind-vane steering) had been generously bathed in oil, he steered a great course; freeing us up for reading, catching up on sleep and baking.

We'd left Gibraltar without any bread, but not to worry we've dried yeast and strong bread making flour in our stores. Two loaves were duely delivered, but I seem to spend more time cleaning the flour and dough from the galley afterwards, than actually preparing the mixture.Baked Brick
Baked Brick

Not to be put off I thought I'd try out a steamed pudding in the pressure cooker - not quite the success I was hoping for. I was somewhat hampered by the scales packing up and no measuring jug or cone. So had to guess qualities. Also no self raising flour, but found some baking powder and used that. I thought half a teaspoon would be adequate, but the sponge didn't really rise. Ellen suffers from bad memories of heavy school dinner sponge puddings and I'm afraid I didn't manage to change that perception. Not sure if my cooking and the heads being briefly blocked were related - I'll spare you the details.

The dolphins have returned - we've had four visits with between 4-12 dolphins - don't think we were going fast enough for big dolphin revelry - but its always a joy when they join us.

We're converging with Mark and Nat in Freespirit - currently they are about 30miles west of us. We've been staying in touch using the SSB radio transmitting on 2Mhz.

Finished the day off with a solar shower and briefly felt human again.

Current position @ 12.00GMT is N32deg23.1' W10deg 26.7.

We're heading off the African coast for the Canaries. We've currently a light NE wind with some swell which makes it difficult to sail without the sails flogging and loosing way. We're motoring off the coast planning to pick up a strong Northerly that Mark and Nat are enjoying. Ellen is deservedly catching up on some sleep after the long night watches she's been putting in.

Plan to try some fishing today so hope to report tuna steaks for tea.

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