Bread and Gremlins

Latitude: 30 27.5 S Longitude: 028 048.4 W

No more luminous whales have been spotted but we have seen some non-luminous Minke whales, a turtle, some flying fish, a few old buoys and fishing floats, plastic bottles, plastic bags, and the usual odd collection of rubbish floating past!

We have been dealing with a few gremlins in the machine that is Pelagic Australis over the last few days. There has been an ongoing issue with the generator failing to start occasionally and I think we finally tracked that down to moisture in a junction box (quite a lot of moisture), we found a loose bolt in the steering whilst investigating a strange knock in the lazerette, a strange intermittent noise in the engine room turned out to be a pulley slightly loose on an alternator shaft, etc. etc..

The last of the Cape Town bread was consumed the other day and I have turned my hand to baking some bread. I first tried to use one of those bought bread mixes, it failed to rise even a millimetre, but it had gone out of date in 2010! So I reverted to my tried and tested recipe for plain white bread which worked fine. Bread is such a fickle thing to make, just changing the brand of flour can cause a tried and tested recipe to fail, but this batch turned out fine so now I can vary the recipe to make wholemeal loaves etc..

The species of birds we are seeing are changing as we get further west; for example today for the first time on this trip we saw greater shearwaters.

We caught another fish this morning no idea what it was, need to get myself a book on ocean fish, it was too small to feed us so we let it swim off to grow bigger for next time.

Our bananas are ripening quickly so it’s time to start using them in as many recipes as we can. We have had baked bananas stuffed with shards of dark chocolate for dessert the last couple of evenings.

We have been making good progress to the west for the last few days sometimes motoring sometimes sailing as we are now. The wind has been very variable in direction and strength today and during my last watch I think we made five or six sail changes.

We are at the part of the voyage now where we have to make some tactical decisions on when to head south for Stanley. We could turn at any time now, but right now if we head south we’ll put ourselves in front of developing low pressure system that is forecast to bring wind of F10 so we are maintaining our westerly heading for the moment hoping that we can pass to the north and west of that system.

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