Day 12: Monday 2nd December – The ‘Mystery Tin’
We woke with 20 knots of wind from the rear and a lumpy 3 metre swell just a few seconds apart. Whilst it made life on board much more challenging, we were finally able to head directly towards St Lucia at a good pace! Hurrah!
Joe has gradually taught the children how to play poker since leaving Cape Verde. This culminated in a game with high stakes today. The person finishing with the most chips would receive the ‘mystery’ unlabelled tin that has been sat under the floorboards since Southampton! There has been much speculation over it’s contents for many months. Baked beans, kidney beans, or the most favoured option - rice pudding.
Both children played with determination. Charlie resorted to wearing his Ronaldo mask as his poker face needs some work, although his body language was still a bit of a giveaway. Jess on the other hand was adept at keeping a poker face at all times, perhaps because she’d not quite got her head around all of the rules yet.
It was a closely contested match, but in the end Joe demonstrated a bit of tough love and finished with the most chips. He then challenged us all to either call for a chance to share the mystery tin, or fold.
Everybody called, then the tin was opened. Chickpeas! Which was a relief to vegan Joe! It was decided that chickpea curry would be on the menu tomorrow. The children didn’t look too pleased.
Day 13: Tuesday 3rd December – Squall alert
Another day with strong winds and swell with lots of grunts and grumbles (mainly from Pete and I) as we found ourselves constantly bashed into things as we moved about the boat and nothing would stay In the same place. Charlie and Jess, on the other hand was coping with it all admirably.
With conditions being challenging, we decided to treat with a new set of lego to build together rather than attempt home school. Needless to say it caused a few arguments, but they eventually started playing nicely together.
A number of squalls started to form all around in the afternoon. Whilst we did our best to avoid them all, we found ourselves in the middle of quite a large one, with larger waves and winds gusting up to 35 knots. Nothing we hadn’t seen before on our long journey down from the UK. We reefed in the sails and Pete hand steered us through it comfortably.
After the squalls cleared and boat had received a much-needed fresh water wash down, we were relieved that there was much less humidity in the air.
We were all quite excited to see another sailing yacht on the horizon later in the afternoon – our first visual contact with another boat for a while. We spoke to them on VHF for a while.
Even thought there were a couple of glum looks at the dinner table, Joe’s chickpea and runner bean curry went down a treat.
Celebration this evening as we crossed the three-quarter way point and now have the prospect of making it to St Lucia before the week is out. We went to bed feeling a lot less isolated in this vast ocean.
Day 14: Wednesday 4th December – Moonlight at last
The already large swell continued to grow throughout the night but was squall free and we enjoyed the increasing strength of the new moon through to the early hours.
Jess was unfortunately seasick this morning, but she soon felt better and was cheered up by a sighting of a whale fin not far from the boat.
More squalls in the afternoon made for a nice fresh air and all were able to sleep in their cabins comfortably overnight.