The Tapas Bar at the Top of the Ridge
Rupert Holmes and Richard Palmer on JPK1010 Jangaga
Position: 25.24N 24.26W
True wind speed: 6.4 knots
True wind angle: 58 degrees
Boat speed: 5.1 knots
Air temperature: 27.4 Celcius
One of the joys of sailing long distances is that it gives time to slow
down and appreciate the joys of some the important essentials of life.
After five full-on days of racing in constantly changing conditions, and
often confused seas, that have demanded constant attention today has
brought a welcome change.
By breakfast time the wind had settled into a steady 6-7 knots from the
west-southwest, giving a much easier day in prospect as we head south on
starboard tack into the narrow ridge of high pressure that's separating
us from the tradewinds that will eventually push us the rest of the way
to the Caribbean.
After 30-40 minutes of tweaking sail and pilot settings we got the boat
set up to look after herself, with human intervention only needed to
keep a lookout and monitor course and speed. As I write we're hitting
more than 100 per cent of polars, even though neither of us has touched
the helm, or a piece of string, for more than four hours. As for other
traffic, it's 24 hours since we last had a target on the AIS and the
only other life we've actually seen is dolphins.
That's given time to sleep, to do a few small jobs around the boat, and
have a leisurely lunch: freshly-made hummous, Iberian cured ham, cheese,
pate de campagne, fresh vegetables and tasty Spanish olives, washed down
with a couple of cold beers - the first we've had since Friday last week.
Even if the normal fare when racing is easier to prepare, there's still
time to slow down when eating to savour the flavours of the different
ingredients. The same is true even for snacks, where a flapjack isn't
something to be rushed in a couple of bites, and a couple of slices of
dried mango make a great treat in the middle of a long night watch.
The normal routine on Jangada consists of muesli or porridge for
breakfast, wraps with chorizo or ham, cheese, iceberg lettuce fresh
pepper etc for lunch. Evening meals are invariably pre-packaged dinners
that can be boiled in the bag, using the Jetboil, with added rice or
noodles and veg. To keep energy levels constant through the day and
night we also have a huge variety of snacks, including fresh and dried
fruit, nuts, cereal bars, homemade cake and the aforementioned flapjacks.
Caption: Lunch in the Tapas Bar at the Top of the (high pressure) Ridge.