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Maalu IV - Day 16 Manic Monday

Yesterday was another red letter day with 184 miles sailed.
Even better, Jono cooked his signature supper dish of 'Tuna, Pasta, Pesto' which gave the chef her first night off.
Fresh produce has now dwindled to one cauliflower, one courgette, five onions, lots of garlic, half a cucumber, eight green apples and and one each of a lemon and lime. The latter are being closely guarded by Jono as he is very concerned about his risk of getting scurvy! He has been monitoring his risk using the SCurvy Early Warning Score or SCEWS. Unfortunately no one can remember the early signs and symptoms of scurvy so the score is heavily weighted towards established disease of rash, bleeding gums and teeth falling out. Therefore it is not entirely reassuring that he is scoring zero, i.e. low risk. His second strategy has been to drink juice squeezed straight from the lemons as well as consume most of the oranges on board and as a consequence I am not anticipating a case of scurvy on board Maalu IV.
The night watch went by slowly with little squall activity and no other vessels nearby. The miles are steadily ticking down on our miles to go counter. I was sound asleep this morning but was awoken by an uncanny quietness about the boat. 'The quiet before the storm' never crossed my mind until Maalu IV  heeled sharply in a gust and I was deposited on the other side of my berth. The 'Squall Magnet' was on watch and she had attracted a squall of epic proportions. Fortunately she and Nicholas had seen this one coming and had reefed the boat down to a tiny foresail and main. We were battered for 10 minutes by 42 knot winds with a maximum gust of 57 knots followed by 'biblical' rain. This set the scene for the rest of the day. Squall sighted, sails reefed; squall passes by, sails unfurled. It is not the best strategy for making all speed to St Lucia but it is the safest strategy to get us all there safely with the boat intact.  The squalls are bigger than has been forecast and more frequent. The wet weather gear is getting far more use than anticipated but it dries off very quickly between squalls so not a problem for any of us. As usual Maalu IV is just getting on with her core business of getting us from A to B, albeit somewhat more slowly and with no opportunities for fishing, which is a disappointment.
Just 550 miles to go and still targeting Friday 10th as St Lucia Day. We are looking forward to sleeping in a quiet environment, sleeping through the night, cooking without chasing the ingredients around the galley and walking on dry land. Oh, and a lot of rum punches!

m_Iona the Squall Magnet

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