Our 'keep meandering southwest' strategy has seen us move down to around 17 North so we are feeling very tropical now. There has been fairly solid cloud cover today but the sun has just broken through and it's getting very warm down in our cabins. Last night's supper selection was a fairly challenging one for Fergus, who claims to have no culinary skills but is, we are discovering, a potential Master Chef. Lemon Chicken breasts, marinated in lemon juice, honey and soy sauce were accompanied by baby roast potatoes and carrots steamed in butter, white wine , garlic, cumin and rosemary so it was quite a performance to pull off in a rolling boat – as Greg Wallace would say, "Cooking doesn't come any tougher than this!" and the results were delicious. We've decided we wouldn't like to meet a Canarian chicken on a dark night; they must be the size of turkeys – two breasts provided more meat than we could eat between us.
We had another steady night with just the odd rain shower but no squalls and today there are definite signs of the wind easing. This morning's forecast suggests that we might just slip south of the worst of the light winds and we hoisted the Yeo Valley Parasailor at 13.00 today; we're still in Force 4-5 NE to E winds so it's delivering a good turn of speed. We'll make the call later as to whether we'll fly it through the night, depending on wind and squalls.
The watermaker has been on so the water tanks are full and the crew have enjoyed showers and hair washes. We'll leave clothes washing to a sunnier day. The warm air is making our fresh fruit and veg ripen very quickly so we ate the first of our bananas, bought very green in Las Palmas, and are down to our last few tomatoes and pears; less exciting meals, based on pasta and tinned foods, will be the norm once we've used the last of the fresh meat but we're itching to get the fishing line out again.
Looking ahead, some boats may decide to put their engines on to motor through a day or so of calms (there is a time penalty for this on the corrected finish times) so as to get to Saint Lucia as quickly as possible. We've decided we want to do the crossing under sail alone (unless we get hopelessly becalmed) so the Fleet Viewer position may change quite dramatically over the next few days. We'll keep you informed of progress.