Longtitude: 03° 11 S
Latitude: 93° 04 W
Course over ground: 260°
Speed: 3-4 knots under sail
Time: 8.45 am (Local Galapagos)
Thursday: We turned our engine off late morning and got the gennaker foresail out, white with a red rim, billowing out, a glorious sight. Still, the wind was low and we crawled along at a snail’s pace of little more than 3 knots. The Skipper was very disheartened, but I was thrilled - I have so many little projects to do with the kids, books to read and home ed, that the more time we have on our own like this before hitting Polynesia and exploring again, the better.
We turned our engine off yesterday, late morning, and got the gennaker out. The wind was still low and we crawled along at a snail's pace of about 3 knots. Xavier was most disheartened, but I was thrilled, I have so many little projects to do with the kids, the more time we have on our own like this before hitting French Polynesia and off exploring again the better!
The day revolved around history. I am enormously grateful to computer games like “Civilisation” for sparking the kids imagination and given them a huge frame of reference in terms of battles, leaders and the way in which history unfolds. But today, we took a step further back and looked at the ancestors that laid the foundations for the beginning of civilisation - homo sapiens and neanderthals, as set out in The Penguin History of the World. It took us the best part of a day to cover 35 pages! At one point, we discussed the meaning of the word "precarious" for Isabelle, in the context of “the precarious existence of the Neanderthals”. "Not like us nowadays, is it Mum?" said Francis. We then reflected on how, on paper, being on a small 40ft boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, at the mercy of the sea and the elements, may also be deemed by others to be a precarious existence…
Struggling to make more than 4 knots under sail we put the engine back on for a bit in the afternoon to help push us south. Zero sign of the trade winds, but PELIZENO have found them a degree further south, and we are hopeful.
After a comfort high tea of "pain perdu" - sweet eggy bread with cinnamon - we settled down to the bedtime story, starting on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The kids are loving it! The girls were then out for the count by 8pm while Francis then carried on reading on his own Robinson Crusoe. It is so much fun to be reading classics such as these on a voyage like this, the nautical terms resonating, along with the sense of adventure.
PLANTAIN CHIP RECIPE:
To 'peel' cut both ends and slice gently through the skin from end to end along the outside and inside of the curve. Slide your thumb beneath the sliced skin along the curve whilst holding the plantain under running water. The water. The water keeps your hands from getting sticky. Cut off two large segments if possible.
You need 2 green plantains peeled (jury’s out on this, as the mature plantains give sweeter, mushy chips that have their own appeal)
Oil for frying (we have since discovered coconut oil beats all the rest hands down)
1 teaspoon of salt
Cut the peeled and dry plantains into 1/2 inch round. Heat a frying pan ( the recipe says to use a 'skillet' but a frying pan should do) with 1/4 inch of oil. Test oil with a tiny price of plantain it should bubble but on contact but not burn. Fry until bottoms have changed colour to bright yellow about one minute. Turn and fry the other side. Removed fried plantains with a spoon Drain while frying all the pieces . Reduce heat. (The trick is not to over cook or under cook the plantains in the first frying)
Sprinkle salt on a dry cutting board. Press plantains in to thin discs with a mashing stone ( if you have one) or rolling pin. Test oil temperature as above. Re-fry mashed plantains a few at a time ( if oil doesn't completely cover plantains during second frying spoon it or carfully tip the skillet/frying pan to one side) the sides will get golden and the top slightly browned about 1 minute. Remove from oil and drain.