They survived the “dubious lamb shanks” :)

We have had a very lovely Easter weekend starting on Good Friday with freshly made Hot Cross Buns (our watch was lucky enough to get up to them going in the oven as Sari had made them on the 4 to 8am watch so we had them freshly cooked……mmmmm…..and there were 3 each so it was a big treat!). That night the haribo Easter bunny came so the night watches had to find their treats in the dark! (some I think may be found as the boat is tidied when we reach port!)
 
After enjoying a lovely sunny morning, Easter Sundayturned into a galley day for Emma and I as the evening before one of us suggested making an Easter cake. We opted for a marble cake with part chocolate and part plain sponge. When I said to Emma the night before”lets make a cake for Easter” her reply really should have been “don’t be ridiculous, we are at a 20 degree angle, often 25 degrees and occasionally 30 degrees, making a cake can only go horribly wrong”, however I definitely remember her agreeing it would be a good idea…at the starting point when the sugar went everywhere we should have taken it as a warning for what was to come as after carefully getting the cake mix in the tin (getting it to this point was not a one man job as the sugar incident taught us….!) and propping it up in the oven hoping for the best we got on with making the dinner. When Emma went to check on the cake 20 mins later she discovered it had flowed out of the tin and all down the side of the oven so when the oven door was opened it all came pouring out the side. Very disappointing after all the effort of getting the cake that far. However all was not lost as there was still enough in the tin to carry on cooking it and the scrapings on the oven were eagerly eaten by those on deck. Jon even decided in future he would make half cooked cakes so they still had the gooey bits! Sarah also ate rather too much of this as when the cake finally was served up she couldn’t eat hers! We decided the best option was to serve the cake and disguise the fact it looked like it had been hit by a storm with chocolate sauce (golden syrup, butter and a bar of dark chocolate…yum yum yum!) Happy crew equals cake success!
 
This was followed by lamb pie. Again a bit of an epic mission but worth it in the end! The lamb had travelled with Elinca all the way from Greenock. Fear not it was well packed in boil in the bag packaging. Emma decided we should take it off the bone and turn it into a pie to make it easier to eat. A decision we questioned half way through as the boat nearly sent it all flying however the crew were happy so well worth the effort.
 
The night watch also brought amusement for Emma and I as when we were putting a reef in at around 3.30 am one of the ropes got in a tangle and as we were soring it out a couple of waves came over mostly getting Emma and set off her life jacket! I think I got more of a shock than she did and let out a yelp at which point Clare said she waited a few moments before coming to our rescue which was not necessary as she was reassured by the giggles that followed. The task of recoiling the tangled rope became more of a challenge for Emma as it was pretty hard to move her arms with the life jacket in full rescue mode! At least we know they work!!
 
The wind died down on Easter Monday giving a welcome break to being heeled over. The sky was once again cloudless and the sun was out giving an afternoon of sunbathing. Happy days! After a week of using all your muscles to hold yourself up it was really appreciated! It is great to be sailing though and we have been in the favour of the wind gods the last week which has increased our chances of actually making it to the Azores (I am sure it helps knowing their names so thank you for those who helped us out there) and the wind is picking up again now. We left the tropics behind yesterday evening and also passed our 1000 miles to go mark around 9pm. This was celebrated with a bar of chocolate.
 
Dinner last night was made by Jon and his watch and was pork with a peanut butter and coconut milk sauce served with rice. Oh so good! Sari has taught everyone her technique of making rice so it doesn’t get stuck together so is always really good and it means Clare will eat it as she doesn’t like her rice to be stodgy. (I do know her secret of having a sneaky midnight snack of super noodles when we have a rice meal….but don’t tell her I told you!) This was followed with Christmas pudding and rum butter (the sailors version of brandy butter!).
 
The quiz at the Mucky Duck Pub was organised this week by Sarah and Rachel and was a lot of fun. It started with the family fortunes round. In the last couple of days each one of us had been taken aside by the pair of them and asked some questions, including how often we change our underwear, what emotion we associated with going to the heads at an angle and what word we associated with Easter, points were then given for guessing the most popular answers. Turns out most people change their pants every other day….not to bad I think! And the most common item taken on watch is a book…..!! There were a few more rounds and a jolly good evening was had by all!
 
This was followed by the premier showings of Andy T’s production of Cliggy Potter and Lynda’s music video…..you guys are in for a treat when we get to the Azores! I will give nothing away here!
 
Ok enough from me as I had better get back on deck. The sun has come up and it is nearly my turn on the helm. Getting up for night watch is always worth it when the stars are out. Its been a really beautiful clear night with the moon reflecting on the water – seeing this sight is one of my favourite things about sailing. Makes the tougher times worth it! We have been out for 3 weeks now! I am still not sick of the sight of the sea and we are all coping rather well being on such close quarters with each other. However one of the lovely things about the 4 to 8am watch is no one is up so not only do you get the stars, the moon and the sun rise you get some moments of peace!
 
Love to everyone at home. Will write soon.
Raffe xxx
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