Tuesday 31 July 2012

Day 4: Headwinds and Making Bread

Thursday 19 July dawned with a light headwind that soon freshened. The skipper did a twenty degree turn to starboard, enough to use the breeze and so save on fuel. We need the fuel for the doldrums later in the voyage.

I was on duty 09h00 to 12h00. The sourdough starter that I made yesterday sat quietly fermenting in the cold oven. It was smelling quite delicious, a bit sour, but not ugly. I added a cup and a bit of white bread flour and mixed it thoroughly, adding a dash of salt. After some decent kneading, helped along by having to use my kneading hand as a prop due to the choppy swell, the dough was put in a lukewarm oven to rise.

Towards the end of my watch the dough had risen to double its size, so I promptly kneaded it down. Then the dough was folded and flattened for about five minutes or so. Then it went back in the cold oven to rest until tomorrow, when we shall bake it in our gas oven. A first for me, no less. I have never used a gas oven before. Now I do it on a heaving boat in the middle of the ocean.

The sprout growing experiment seems to work very well. I am leaving the alfalfa sprouts to grow some more, but I am a wee bit worried that the quantity may be up to one mouthful only. I'll use it in a coleslaw then. Or make some sandwiches for lunch.

The imminent cold front forecast for today and tomorrow seem to have passed us with only stealing our trade winds and giving us some cold air. As I am sitting here typing these words, the clouds have disappeared over the far south eastern horizon. There is a thin line of fluffy clouds still visible on the east horizon. Hopefully a portent of the trade winds. We even had some light foggy conditions overnight, but luckily not enough to be dangerous. The visibility was still over half a mile. The wind picked up around two in the morning and blew all of it away. A bit like the straw house of the piggy.

Our ride was a bit bumpy today, sailing into the short choppy seas. Not really comfortable, but thankfully only about 1.5m high. We made an experiment with a video clip on my small camera. It worked, even if my croaky voice is the best sound available over those of the boat and the sea.

We are all into a big psychological chill, it seems. All of us are experiencing weird dreams, of which apparently none of us remember anything afterwards. I know I had a dream in which my English teacher from my school days figured, but that is all I can remember. I suspect that this is all part of the psychological detoxing happening to us. Part of the metamorphosis into this world of sea and wind and your inner self. Lots of emotions to experience while on watch in the wee hours of the night. Some nice soothing music to listen to when everyone's awake in the afternoon. When the crew on galley duty is performing his magic to feed the rest of us, complete with the smell of the food, the sounds of the sea accompanying us.

No wonder you feel a pang of anger when you see land again.

This blog post also linked to Yeastspotting!

Authored by Johan Zietsman
Last updated on 2012-12-12

No comments:

Post a Comment