Friday 24th December Christmas Eve - Day 60
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope you all have a lovely peaceful holiday - I'll be thinking of many of you - thank you for your emails!
1pm Lots of greetings received by email - always nice to get news from friends. My postbag was full - I'm leaving opening some of the post until later
today - just to spread out the enjoyment of the 'Christmas presents'! A lovely morning - the sun struggled out at midday - even had some blue sky for a
short while - and sun again now, with patches of blue... Stood in companionway gazing around at the awesome seas, made some fresh coffee .. and sang
some carols! To be more truthful, since I couldn't remember all the words, there was a lot of "la-la" - but that's fine - I enjoyed it, although it's a bit difficult
to sing descant to yourself!
No fog today! Just good wind (up to 25 knots at present), downwind sailing, good boat speed - and, even more welcome, a favourable current! But still not
a bird in sight, most unusual... I keep looking, expecting to see one somewhere in the distance maybe ... but - nada!
Debating whether to make a glorious beef stew (best of M&S!) with lots of fresh-boiled potato, chopped tomatoes, sweetcorn, green beans and fried onion
added ... or whether to have chicken tikka masala with Basmati rice and maybe add in some aubergine... that would work well.
One of the presents I opened early was tins of stuffed green olives and pate de campagne (thanks, Liz - remember?!) - that's for an hors d'oeuvre today and
tomorrow.... Mmm - might relent and delve into it early... My main Christmas present is just being out here in the middle of this mighty wilderness - it's
awe-inspiring, especially when those big seas come tumbling along and pick us up... Really puts us mere humans into perspective... We've been surfing
nicely quite often, although I'm keeping an eye always on our speed - don't want it to get too high, especially when surfing.... Generally, in 25knots of wind
from astern now, we're making 6-7.5 knots - with that slight helpful 'push' from the current - and the waves. I took a video of the seas . but I'm sure, like
the photos that were posted here on Wednesday of the stormy seas in winds of 35kt, it won't show the reality of the high crests and deep troughs - it's like
looking down at the troughs out of a high upstairs window, they're so deep down! And this swell isn't particularly big, by Southern Ocean standards...!
5.30pm Sitting with a big mug of tea - and some Christmas cake. At least, that's what I'm calling it! It's a rich dark fruit cake - so it's very similar, just
lacking the marzipan coating and the icing decoration. Opening my post.... and then I've promised myself to get to reading my book - "Luxton's Pacific
Wind seems to be consistently in the mid-20s and we're still going well - almost dead downwind with slightly quartering seas, but well apart, at around 10
seconds. Sun disappeared a while ago and grey skies were threatening rain, I thought, but no sign of that as yet. So I've had a good day - relaxing and
Finished making a big stew - enough for 3 meals, I'd say! Tomorrow's 'special' is to be the salmon I was given before leaving - with fresh potatoes, green
peas and tartare sauce ... and a little white wine, if it's calm enough! A little red wine with the stew tonight should go well.... I'm breaking my 'dry boat on
passage' rule - but I normally do that on special occasions! I'll be raising a glass tomorrow to the various friends who will be doing the same to me - "To
your good health!"
7pm - Foggy cloudy conditions just dropped down - but wind unchanged. Was just checking cloud cover for Pacific Net daily weather report - blue sky one
moment - and then this layer of low cloud blew over fast - and blotted out the sun and sky in no time!
Looking forward to relaxing over my book after my meal. That's after emails and this log report sent - if I can connect - not easy these days - takes a long
24hr DMG to noon UTC: 141 n.ml. (See track on 'Travels' page)
At 1200 UTC: 46:11S, 111:35W. Cape Horn WP 1730 ml SE; Easter Island 1143ml N; Chile 1146ml ESE; N.Z. (Portland Island) 3034ml WSW; Mexico (Cabo S. Lucas) 4145 ml. N.