The greatest news to report is that we have finally dialed in our Monitor Windvane, and can say, with the utmost confidence, that this was a fantastic purchase. We had heard over and over again from other happy customers that most people were ecstatic with having a windvane aboard, as a reliable, uncomplaining extra crew member. We are now in this exalted group of folks - "Monty" has been quietly working for the last 24 hours, with nary a helping hand from us. Our autopilot has been put on standbye, along with all the power that it takes to run. I believe I can say that the windvane ranks right up there with a vhf and ssb, a watermaker, and a freezer, as things a long term cruiser should have on their boats.
The worst news is that after 48 hours into it, we've only made 140 miles. Must stop looking at the ground log - a girlfriend that has made it to NZ (we met in Panama) told me that the best thing to do is not look at the amount of distance still to go, but it sure is hard.
A few brief squalls, a bit of sunshine, winds ranging from 8 knots to 28.5 knots. So it was a mixed bag of conditions.
I'm not one of those cruising galley wenches that makes meals ahead of time. I just don't have that much freezer space to put complete meals in there, so I tend to make food as we need it. The first couple of days on a passage, we never seem to need too much and this trip has been no exception. Yesterday, I finally made hashsbrowns, with bell peppers, onions, melted cheese, fresh tomatoes and a fried egg on top. That was it for food, and if I make it midday, it holds over so that it means only one meal cooked per day.
I'm thinking some sort of pasta today - maybe with fresh tomatoes (now, if I only still had a basil plant on board). Of course, the one thing I have to always watch on these trips is the fresh stuff, as what is out of the fridge has a tendency to go rather quickly. Our mini-bunch of bananas has begun to ripen - yikes, so soon?! 2 yesterday, and it'll be two for each of us today. But I have a strategy.....my very first job when I was a teenager was in a health food restaurant, and smoothies were our specialty. I was a trendsetter, as this was "back in the day", mid-70s, before health food was really a thing. Anyway, instead of ice to thicken them, we used cut up frozen bananas. Which is the fate of the bunch I have currently hanging in the aft bathroom, if we get sick of them before they are all gone. We've had our fair share of banana bread over the last few months, so another strategy is needed. In my reserves, I bought a Nutella knockoff - in the next few months when bananas will be the only fruit we can get, I envision crepes, with a heap of Nutella, and cutup bananas over top, or perhaps a low rent version of bananas foster. Will see if I can steal a bit of Ron's rum, and without burning the boat down, set is aflame and have that foster flambe'd.
The sun has broken through the clouds first thing this morning, currently it's 8am. Ron is asleep and I'm on watch. Was finally tired enough last night to sleep when I went down below - again, takes a few days to get into a good rythum, rythem, rythm (how the hell do you spell this word?)
Position: 02 58'.745s, 093 09'.699w at 8am, February 16th, 2015
Heading: 210 degrees
COG: 232 degrees
Conditions: 3-5 foot swells, sunny skies
Speed: 4 knots
No problems on board - yay!