Shepherd Moon - Blue Water Runner comes up trumps
At last, something interesting to write about; I knew we could rely on the Blue Water Runner. We had been making good progress westwards but out track had slipped a little too much to the south. With the wind coming from just north of east, we needed to gybe if we were to claw our way back north. To do this we needed to roll away the genoa, move the spinnaker pole from the starboard side to the port side, then furl the Blue Water Runner, switch the sheets and then fly that on the opposite side. Since we were going to all that effort, I suggested that perhaps we should first try and fly the Blue Water Runner properly since we would be heading more or less downwind.It is worth noting at this point that everyone on board was in agreement with this decision, at least at the time, although. read more...
Shepherd Moon - Deconstructed hot dogs
Yesterday we passed the thousand-miles-to-go mark and so it's all down hill from here. The seas have moderated a bit and we're running more downwind and life on board is a bit more civilised. Vanessa even managed to make soda bread yesterday, which was excellent. I had some for breakfast this morning with pineapple jam, the closest thing the Galapagos has to Frank Cooper's thick cut marmalade.Things had sunk fairly low on the culinary front prior to yesterday, with lunchtime hot dogs marking the nadir. With no soft finger rolls, we had to make do with "Bimbo" bread. This is remarkable stuff in many ways. It last for weeks, never goes mouldy and never goes stale. Goodness knows what's in it; it's probably best not to ask. But its one failing is that the slices are too small to accommodate. read more...
Shepherd Moon - Rollercoaster diner
We passed the halfway mark yesterday. When we reached the halfway point crossing the Atlantic, we had steak, pepper sauce and chips to celebrate. We sat at the cockpit table and I even had a glass of wine. If we didn't have photographic evidence to prove it, this memory would be filed with all those others that have been embellished by the passage of time, like those endless sunny days that made up a childhood summer. It just sounds so implausible; at the moment I'm struggling just to stay on my seat at the chart table. We did try and celebrate. Yesterday morning Vanessa made pancakes, which were delicious and thankfully the maple syrup helped them stick to the plate just long enough for them to make the journey from the galley to the cockpit and into our tummies. As an aside, whenever I. read more...
Shepherd Moon - Repeat after me
We are in the middle of nowhere. I've just checked the chart and we're now closer to Easter Island than the Galapagos, although to get there we'd have to do a sharp left turn. I've always wanted to go to Easter Island, but the World Cruising Routes book (aka "Destroyer of Dreams") says that the wind and the current are in the wrong direction and there's nowhere to stop when you get there. Sounds to me like they're sitting on the fence on that one.We haven't seen another boat in days, although we can see one of the fleet on our AIS (Automatic Information System) and so we know there's someone there over the horizon. Our link with the other boats is via our SSB (Single Side Band) radio, which, dependant on atmospheric conditions, has a range of over a thousand miles. However the reception. read more...
Shepherd Moon - Life on the edge
We have just passed the 1,000-mile mark and so we are roughly a third of the way to Hiva Oa. That, and the fact the sun has come out after a couple of miserable, overcast days, has lifted the mood on Shepherd Moon. The seas have also calmed down a bit. It is still a challenge walking across the cabin, but you're not being flung around quite so violently. The sea has also become a very attractive blue, so it no longer looks like the English Channel on a drizzly day. No exciting wildlife sightings to report, unfortunately, although each morning we have to clear the decks of flying fish and squid that have arrived in the night, the aquatic equivalent of road-kill. I never realised that squid could fly too, but in the Galapagos we saw them being chased by Sea Lions. They'd shoot out of the. read more...