What a difference a day can make. From massive rollers forming a formidable frontal assault, waves crashing over the bow, deck crew in full storm gear, and the most basic of meals eaten huddled on the galley floor during the nightly squalls, we now have a complete reversal. The sea outside is glassy flat, no wind, as in zero, but onboard the atmosphere is quite festive. The sound track from Le Fabuleux d Amelie Polain is playing on the sound system. Carmen has just pulled a large chocolate caramel cake from the oven, the smell is intoxicating as the crew all gather around. Giamma is the first to cut into its rich yumminess, and soon a good portion has disappeared. Under the clear sky and bright sun, T-shirts and bare feet have returned to the deck, but most important, so have the smiles.
The fishing poles have come out. Art and Mink went to work rigging them up this morning. Ivan has made sure we are fully prepared for success however. Retrieving a coin from his cabin, he had Mink make the "payment" to Neptune in order to assure a good catch. So we wait and see. More smells from the galley, but these are lunch or perhaps dinner it's hard to say. Carmen is in full chef mode now, she started this morning making a Russian salad, fresh bread, then the cake, and now something with onions, peas, and wild rice. With luck maybe it will go with the fish? Hmmm, we shall see…
Ah so its lasagna tonight, no fish, although the guys did have one hooked on for a bit. Perhaps Neptune is also aware of the decline in value of global fiat currencies...As for our lack of fish, nobody is disappointed, Carmen is pulling homemade lasagna out of the oven as I write. Lasagna's gone. Wow, that was quick! Dishes are done too, my goodness dinner was a flurry and then it was just a memory. I think Mink ate half and we all shared the rest, Pitiou! You have a serious challenger for largest appetite onboard! :-)))
One more day and we reach New Zealand. The calm flat seas of the day have turned back into a bumpy beat as night falls. Temperature has dropped, the clouds have returned, Giamma's low looms. Two more nights at sea, then we arrive midmorning on Thursday, everyone is counting the hours, watching the miles, judging the affect of the current, and trimming, trimming, trimming to gain best possible speed. Tonight is looking like more squalls, the storm gear is ready, it's already cold and damp out there.
A grey cold sky greets us as we wake to another day, the last full day of the passage. For breakfast I made pancakes for everyone. Carmen is busy using up the last of the fresh vegetables for a baked cheese gratin; yes, it's that sort of weather. Last night was indeed wet and cold. For the final push we are expecting conditions to worsen. We will arrive tomorrow morning a bit earlier now that we gained some speed. The winds picked up yesterday which helped. We're at that point in a passage, a period of fatigued optimism just before arrival. Everyone is tired, everyone is trying not to be crabby, hating the watch schedule, fed up with the lack of sleep, but then Carmen pulls something wonderful out of the oven and the whole mood changes. Her kitchen makes us all happy, brings us back to ourselves, we are cheerful again, we are Feeln' Good :--)
Currently we are motoring, the mainsail is reef 2 and the foresail is furled. The sky is overcast, we have good visibility and the sea state is slight. Wind is 5.2 kts from 194°T, the air temperature is 22°C while the sea temperature is 21°C. Our SOG is 8.0 kts with our COG 211°T.