31 December 1969 | 33:47N 055:51W
Trip:456 Distance to Waypoint 1391; Bearing to Waypoint 070deg 33deg 46'.761N 056deg 51'.000W COG: 080 SOG:5.8
Wind: Northerly Westerly Force 2
Friday 11th May 2019 19:03(boat time)
Becalmed! We have fallen into a bit of a wind hole, as to be expected around here with the Azores High that dominates the weather systems in the Northern Atlantic. We have tried to shape a course that keeps us out of, and south of, the big lows that sweep across North Atlantic north of the Azores High, and out of the Azores High, and keep in the moderate favourable winds. It is a very fine line between the two to find. We have taken a cautious approach in ensuring we keep out of the very strong winds (40-50kts) but that has led us into the high. From the grib files I have I think we are only skirting the top corner of the high and will be able to motor out of it in a day or so, and start to pick up some favourable wind again, hopefully that is the case as we only have enough fuel for a 1000nm and we have 1400 to go. There is a chance that we might pick up some nasty weather later on, but we shall have to wait and see.
By the way, for supper last night I cooked a beef stew with the help of Mr.D the Thermal Cooker; 350g of fresh best beef chunks; one onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1" ginger, tomato, and butternut squash all fresh roughly chopped. Added to that 1 tine of chopped tomatoes, 1 large tin of potatoes, 1 tin of chickpeas...anything really to bulk it out to make it last a few days. Coat the beef in flour, meanwhile fry off the onions in the inner pan of the Mr.D then add the beef and let sizzle for a while before adding a large slug of red wine left over from the other day, chuck in the rest of the ingredients, add 2 oxo cubes, lazy chilli, mixed herbs, and anything else you have hat hand that you think will add to it, I add some orange juice sometimes to sweeten it up if it needs it. Anyway, once it is all simmering nicely 15 minutes or so, take the inner pan off the heat and place it in the thermal cooker to cook in its own heat for the next 3 hours. Protein, carbohydrate, and vitamin C all in one pot. That will serve 6 or do us for three days. Of course all done with the the boat heeled over at 30 deg, pitching and rolling back and forth in a 5m swell...Tasted fantastic...brilliant easy to cook in any sea condition only uses 1 pan and 20 minutes of gas a real energy saver especially when conserving our limited gas supply is so important, we can't get a refill till back in the UK unless we are lucky enough to get some in the Azores.
A stew like this makes a nice change from spagbog, or beef chilli or other things using rice or pasta. We have used instant mash a few times when it has been rough which is great with sausages and reminds me of my childhood...'for mash get smash'
We provisioned up for this passage and the passage to Bermuda and our time in Bermuda at the Publix Supermarket in West Palm Beach with nearly all our fresh meat and veg, outer perishables as well as other tins and dry goods, hopefully enough to last us two months. We brought the meat took it back to the boat, sorted it out into portion sizes and vacuum packed it ( we brought a little vacuum packer in Aldi before we left England and very useful it has been) and took it back to the supermarket where they put it into their freezer for a day or so to freeze, then brought it back to the boat and put it in the bottom the icebox, the icebox although will not freeze food it should keep it frozen, this is great, even de-frosted the vacuum packed meat will last for a couple of months. We have given up on buying carrots and they would not keep for very long, we tried them in the fridge, in the fruit net and wrapped in foil, they always seemed to go mangy after a week or so, but butternut squash lasts for ages even when cut open. We also have fresh potatoes and sweet potatoes. Tomatoes keep for quite along while in the fridge as does lettuce leaves, and of course we have a basil plant on the window cill. Of the tinned food we through a lot of tinned chopped tomatoes, they are used in nearly everything, tinned chickpeas are also good to fill thinks out and for protein. Red Kidney beans for chilli, tinned potatoes and other veg. Of course tinned tuna and tinned sweetcorn for the tuna sweetcorn salad with rice, not keen on it myself but Alison loves it.
Richard and Alison yacht Cerulean of Penryn
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