Land Ho!

31st July

So this morning I was lucky enough to wake up just in time to help the boys raise the other gennaker (this one is much bigger and looks more like a spinnaker to me; maybe it is – must ask!) So after a few minutes on the winch at the back and a lot more work by the boys up the front she was up.  Turned engines off and we were running at 7.5 knots; not bad at all.  Unfortunately it didn’t last – the thing had a couple small holes in it and one of them began to tear.  So down she came.  At this rate we will make Las Palmas around 9 tonight.  Sigh.  Comfortable flat seas and lots of fuel versus lots of splashing and crashing and lots of sailing.  No damn compromise it would appear; at least if there is one I haven’t seen it yet.

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Got baking as everyone was hungry – yesterday Betrave made a really good loaf; she’s getting the hang of the kneading thing – and we ate most of it for dinner with a kind of chicken bake thingy – stock; white wine; finished with cream and a can of artichokes.  Nice.  Had only about a quarter left this morning so made it into a bake; 8 eggs; grated gruyere; left over crumbled chorizo and a few chives.  One large ripe banana looking at me so I made little cakes as well to use the oven.. Banana raspberry.. Nice… The biggest problem with this plan to write up the recipes and feature the food is that it goes so quickly we never seem to get the pics!  Here’s what we have …

Yesterday I made a version of a NYT Zucchini bread recipe that I’ve had in mind for ages.  It’s grated zucchini (courgette); olive oil; yoghurt; couple eggs and flour.  They were amazing.  You can really taste the olive oil; and I will use this technique a lot I can see for savoury muffins.  Will buy more olive oil in Las Palmas …

Will make two loaves today.  We’ll try wholemeal.  Feeling quite cocky about this bread thing when I have Betrave’s kneading skills

 

By the way both of us non drinkers woke up today with massive hangovers.  His was so bad he actually puked his coffee.  Mine was just a headache.  Pamela; it must be the sugar withdrawals from stopping drinking.  Very interesting.  I also have sugar cravings now;  ate a Kit Kat on watch last night and all this sweet baking … interesting.

 

CAUGHT OUR FIRST FISH YESTERDAY!!! Hooray; finally broken the drought.  Couldn’t believe it; we have been trawling two lines from the stern since we left la Ciotat.  Only one big bite in the Med (and it got away) and nothing until now.  Nice little tuna!  But something wrong with these seas … Also two little squid have committed suicide on deck this morning.  Seafood today!  Might sashimi the tuna.  The GC ate it’s heart when he gutted it off the stern … they’ve never made me try it but apparently it’s really good.  And full of adrenalin.

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Talking about the sea; I know I said that the Med was blue but that is NOTHING compared to how blue the Atlantic is.  It’s been overcast mostly the last couple of days but yesterday afternoon the sun came out and the colour of the water is truly spectacular.  It’s a deep sapphire that breaks clear … hard to describe but truly beautiful.

 

I’m below in my cosy bed!  Finishing this post and the guys have rigged the salt water pump at the back and are cleaning the boat.

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Tuna for lunch.  Cut into steaks; pan fried in olive oil with an onion (on the request of the GC).  Russian salad from bottled baby potatoes bought in Spain; and a tin of mixed peas and carrots; cornichons; fresh parsley and good mayonnaise.  Have to sing out for the quality of the tinned veggies we’ve got – very surprising.  I really wasn’t prepared for that; I thought they would be barely palatable.. Sure they are all pretty soft; you wouldn’t want to cook them any more than warmed through; but straight out of the tin for a cooked salad they are brilliant..  I’ve done the spinach with just a shot of cream; salt and pepper; it was amazing.. I’d bought all this tinned veg because I was worried the GC would make his threat real and not have any refrigeration going across the Atlantic (of course there was no chance of that and as I’ve said, I think I have more refrigeration space on board now than I had at home!).  I’ve been trialling the veg before I really HAVE to use it; and as I say; it’s not what you’d bother with at home but it’s really not at all bad.

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LAND HO!  3 Pm; just finished lunch and we can see the Canary Islands ahead.  The sea has been flat and lovely since last night and we even managed to have lunch back at the table rather than on the high chairs in the galley.. Nice to be back to the cruising feeling …. We won’t stay here long though.. Enough time to get the necessaries to head off across the big blue..

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