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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
The ones that got away

12 July 2011
Our frozen food has defrosted (we don't have a freezer, just a friendly restaurant in Galapagos that froze some meals I had cooked) and we are on to our last prepared meal. It's been lovely not having to do too much cooking over the past week, but just pulling out a risotto here, a lasagne there. But that's all come to an end. And we need fish. Our lure went out yesterday; we caught a beautiful mahi mahi. Then just as we had it on the back steps it jumped away, luckily not taking our lure with it. This happened not once, not twice but three times. At this stage we changed our lure and now we haven't had so much of a nibble all day. Oh well, there's always tomorrow!
The wind dropped over night so we put one of our engines on, then it's picked up again today, but oh, if only we had our spinneker. Pegasus needs a good stiff breeze to get going and even though we have 15-17 knots of wind, we're doing 4.5 -5 knots of speed only, which is the same as the other boats who have only 9 knots of wind but a spinnekar.
Still, it's beautiful out here. We're really enjoying the sail. There was a beautiful sunset tonight. Mia has been learning how to play taps on the recorder so we are treated to that at each sundown. We're really cracking on with the school work so that we can have a holiday when we get to the Marquesas. I'm not sure we'll have the full 6 weeks off school work, given that we only do a couple of hours a day anyway. I've finally picked up the second volume of War and Peace - really dragging it out, but I'm determined to finish it - if only I could get into it! Curr Position: 05.03S 105.47W

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07/14/2011 | Sarah Bell
Found a great website at Wikipedia for sad people like me who have a fascination with collective nouns. Have only got rd to blog reading re squid - squid are hen & cock, chick, collectively either roundup or audience - which would you apply, audience?!
Sail safely and v impressed with mast climb xxx
The great yellow banana contest

11 July 2011
The rules, as dictated by Mia. 50 bananas. Each competitor must make up a new recipe that includes bananas. You can help other people. You cannot copy other people. Points will be given for presentation, number of bananas used, inventiveness (my rules!) So far, Mia and Lochy have submitted their dishes and it has to be said, we'll be hard pushed to beat them. I have already made 2 banana loaves, but Lochy made a banana cake that was better than anything I have ever baked. Whilst I was sous-chef, I didn't really do anything other than reach the ingredients he couldn't reach so it was his own doing. Delicious. Mia presented a banana surprise with caramelised brown sugar cream and homemade biscuit topping, with Mark as a sous-chef. The grown-ups are yet to submit, but Whit has been planning for two days and may, I suspect, be touting for the most-bananas-used prize. Why on earth did we buy so many bananas?!!
The wind dwindled a little yesterday afternoon, but our daily mileage was 140nms. Today's I suspect will be a little less, although the wind has picked up again. Mia and Mark were treated to a nighttime display of dolphins - the first of this leg - and everyday we have about 20 storm petrels flying around our boat. First thing I will look up when we get to land is how/where do they sleep at night? They're not landing on our boat, but they are with us every afternoon - where do they go?!
Curr posn: 04.10S 103.24 W A quarter of the way there!

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Groundhog Day

10 July 2011

Not that I'm complaining. Other boats in front of us have had the winds die down to 5-10 knots whereas we are continuing to enjoy 20 knots of wind and 6-7 knots of boat speed. The sun is out, the sky is blue; hopefully tonight we can look forward to seeing some stars as it's been a bit cloudy the past few nights. Now I'm going to have to look up constellations for the Southern hemisphere as I find myself a bit lacking! We had the engines on for a couple of hours today, so we could heat some water and have our Sunday wash - crew Pegasus is officially clean! We've been a bit lacking in the marine life department (if you're not counting being slapped round the face by a squid); not so much as a dolphin, turtle or whale, but we are only in day 5 so there's plenty of time for that. It would be quite nice to see another boat, but it's a wide wide sea this Pacific and the other boats we are in contact with are either a few hundred miles behind or in front of us!
Mark and Lochy have had their obligatory 6 month shear; the girls are waiting for a peaceful anchorage before cutting each others' hair - I've just realised that it's been 5 months since we last had a trim :-) Two banana cakes on the table, 47 ripe bananas left to eat up.
Ooh, what else? We're all learning abit of French every day using a computer programme Mark downloaded. Just as Lochy was saying Gracias, we've now got to get him saying "merci" again! He's enjoying reading "Swallows and Amazons" and Mia is still planning the little sailing boat she is going to build when we are in NZ. A bit bitty, today's blog. Love to all, Cath xx

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Going Bananas

8 July 2011
I thought we'd have a week or so before the green bananas started to ripen and that maybe they ripen a few at a time, but alas, this is not to be. They seem to be ripening at an alarming rate and we are all now used to the gentle thud as another banana falls off the 'tree.' We've never been so healthy, as we eat our way through passion fruit, bananas, pears, cauliflower, broccoli and all the other things that seem to have a short shelf life. Banana smoothies, banana muffins, banana in yoghurt are all the order of the day, several times a day! If only Mia and Lochy liked bananas!!
We have been enjoying the same conditions for the past 3 days now, with constant winds and maintaining good speeds. In fact I didn't think there was anything to much to report in today's blog. That was until a shoal of mini squid flew out the sea and hit Mark and I simultaneously in the face. Now at least we know how it is that we have several squid on our decks every day - they jump on board! I don't know what a group of squid is called. I know that it is a smack of jellyfish and somehow, that seems fitting for this little group of thugs! Current position: 02.55S 96.19W course 250 degrees

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07/09/2011 | Nikki M
I think its called a SCHOOL of squid.
Do you know what a group of bankers is called?
Mark the Spark

7 July 2011
Having made a respectable 146nms in the first 24 hours, we've been chugging along at 5-6 knots ever since, settling into our new watch system. We thought we'd try out something new, especially so I could fit in the radio nets and not be on watch at the same time. It was Whit who pointed out that he had one less hour which meant Mark had one more hour, but since Mark had OK'd the watch system before and hadn't realised the discrepancy, we thought the less said the better! Anyway, Mia now enjoys taking a couple of one hour watches during the day, so that will free Mark up. This morning, I was glad to feel better as I have been joining Mia in the finding of our sealegs. That's not normal for me, but it seemed to be triggered by listening to SSB and writing down everyone's coordinates. Mark woke me early as he needed help to fix something. The autopilot. When I said the propeller was one of the only things we didn't have a spare of, the autopilot was probably the one of the others! Whit had written in one of his blogs (what am I talking about, his only blog since leaving the US!) that Mark had an uncanny ability to take thing apart and fix them in a way he would not be able to do. So, Whit and I crossed our fingers as Mark took apart the autopilot, hoping he would find something to fix. He did. Not something easy like a pin that needed replacing but the current to the electromagnet had shorted and needed replacing. Which Mark did. Three hours later, and Uncle Auto was back on the helm. Our most ardent of blog followers may remember we had a similar problem with Uncle Auto whilst crossing the Atlantic and you can rest assured that THIS time we counted the rudders and there were (thankfully) two. So, we continue to chug along with a fair wind and all is good aboard Pegasus of Jersey for now. Current position: 2.13.72S 94.14.50W

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Goodbye Galapagos

6 July 2011
We knew Whit would come back - he had to to collect his extensive library of Lonely Planet travel guides he left behind whilst travelling through Costa Rica. Monday and all of Tuesday consisted of getting the boat ship-shape again for going to sea. We feel we have finally made it as an ocean going vessel, now we have a huge bunch of green bananas hanging up in the cockpit. Despite the fact that we we won't be able to eat them for two weeks and then they will all ripen at the same time, we still wanted to buy them as they were pretty cheap, as were most of the other fruit and veg we bought at the farmers market in Santa Cruz. Cheap compared to Jersey, obviously, maybe not to other countries. So, we have a boat load of fruit and veg, most of our dry provisions were already on and a very kind restaurant froze 6 of our meals for us that I had prepared earlier (eat your heart out Blue Peter!) Although we don't have a freezer, we have a freezer box that Mark has made and so hopefully they should keep cool for a little while. And so we set sail at 1800 on 5 July. Other boats had had problems retrieving one or other of their anchors, so we were prepared for the worst, but were pleased that neither anchor gave us jip and we were heading out before the sun had set. A knackering day by all accounts as all our water had to be put into tanks by jerry can and with no prop on our outboard motor, we had to befriend a water taxi for most of the afternoon.
So now it's the morning of the 6th; the big boys are snoozing, I've been on the SSB net and made contact with other boats and the kids are reading, we've got a couple of knots of current in our favour and whilst the waves are slightly forward of our beam, we've 15-20 knots of wind so are making a respectable 6-7 knots boat speed. Current position: 01.19.62S 91.48.68W

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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