Tenerife to Brazil – Day 5

Reading: The Salt Path (Raynor Wynn)
Weather: Trade winds kicked in – N-NW 5 and sunny
Thought for the day: Who or what is Bob and what use is he/she/it?
Evening meal: Pasta with bacon, aubergine, onion, courgette and pepper
Course: Between 225oC – 230oC – pretty much straight for the waypoint off the Cape Verde Islands
Distance covered: At 1200 we had done 573 miles
Flying fish headcount: Carnage on deck! 20 dead (including several babies), only a couple alive. Some even managed to fly into the topsail stored on deck – we found them when we folded it!

Today we have to talk about Bob…. So far, Bob has been a pretty lackadaisical crew member and contributed little. In fact today he caused us a lot of work, though arguably with a good outcome in some ways. Bob is actually our invisible friend crew member and has become known as the food fairy. So why Bob? Well, on each cabin door is a name plate and small blackboard and on the board they write the name of the occupant. The aftermost starboard cabin says Bob on the blackboard, but it turns out that he/she/they couldn’t make it for some reason, so his space has been taken with crates of fresh food. Bob’s bunk is effectively the scurvy prevention zone and is stacked with aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes, root ginger, broccoli, bananas and lots of carrots. These need checking regularly and this was our job on watch last night.

Each crate needs to be gone through carefully and the veg turned and sorted to try and ensure they last as long as possible. Most were relatively good, but one deliquescent carrot was trying to impose its will on the others and so that took a little sorting out and some cleaning and chopping of rotten bits. Any veg on the turn are straight away moved to a crate forward for fairly immediate use. The problem veg last night were a few carrots and tomatoes, but the stand out delinquent was the bananas – all of which were on the turn at once. Jet had had a problem getting green bananas at the supermarket and ended up getting a stalk of green ones at the African market in Santa Cruz, so all the supermarket ones were turning at once. This was duly reported to her.

What could possibly be good about this? Well, at the watch changeover, instead of porridge we were welcomed at 6am with warm, fresh banana bread – an excellent use of ripe bananas!
Otherwise today has been back to routine – good sailing at around 8-10 knots with the trade winds having kicked in. Initially these apparently have a northerly component from where they have travelled down the Portuguese coast, but they will gradually start to have a more westerly element as we get further south. So for the moment we are heading on about 225-230oC with about 18-20 knots of wind on the starboard quarter. The seas have built quite a bit, but are now more regular and she rides them fairly easily and predictably. Good progress south and this morning we had done 550 miles, so we are 10% of the way to the Falklands!