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Shepherd Moon - Squid marks

Yesterday morning our daughter made her way from her flat in London to Gatwick airport. The weather this past week has been freezing in the UK, and there is talk of snow at Christmas. At around 10 a.m. she climbed on a plane and nine hours later she arrived in St Lucia to be met by a wall of heat. In those nine hours we travelled just 44 miles. By comparison, Shepherd Moon left the UK in early August, and except for a six-week sojourn in Lagos, Portugal, the rest of the time she has been plodding her way towards the Caribbean. On the plus side, we have had a chance to acclimatise to the heat, although I'm not sure my body has fully seized that opportunity. It is still dreaming of frosty mornings. We also have no baggage limitations, no airport queues, no jet lag and no risk of DVT. I would like to add that we also have a real sense of achievement, but at the moment I think we are all too tired and jaded to think about that. We went through the 2,000-mile mark this morning and there was a half-hearted attempt at a selfie, but nothing like the enthusiasm that greeted the 1,000-mile landmark.

Not that it's all doom and gloom on board Shepherd Moon. We have worked out that we have sufficient water level for us all to have showers, which will be a relief for anyone meeting is in St Lucia. And we even managed to catch a fish, if you're willing to stretch the definition of catching to almost breaking point. My rod and reel are tied to a handrail on top of the boat, with the homemade lure hooked into one of the eyes on the rod. Yesterday morning I noticed that there was a flying fish nestled up against the lure. Not quite hooked, but certainly in close enough proximity that one more flap could have caused a superficial graze. Now one explanation might be that its leap just happened to coincide with the passing of Shepherd Moon, but to counter that view, this is the first flying fish that has made it onto the raised part of the cabin. (As an aside, a squid made it right up to the base of the mast, and there is still a very clear "squid mark" some two weeks later to prove it). By far the more likely explanation is that the flying fish saw my very attractive homemade lure mid-glide, and adjusted its flight path accordingly.

Anyway, just 118 miles to go. The wind is as capricious as ever and we are trying to resist the temptation to just bang on the engine and race for the finish line. All being well we should be in St Lucia by 10 a.m. tomorrow.

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