Before starting this long entry I’d like to send our huge thanks to James & Bex from yacht Hepzibah for finding the special email address within wordpress to allow us to send this entry from mid Atlantic. These guys are a year behind us & we look forward to a cold beer together soon.
By 12:00 all rally yachts were on the water jockying around for position near the start line, which was way too narrow in our opinion. Nick took the helm once we’d left the marina as he’d taken part in numerous racing events and I left the positioning to his skill & judgement. Crossing the start line at about 3 knots was a bit on the slow side but it was the same for everyone and we did chuckle a bit as we stole a German yachts wind to find clear air! We decided to sail south east away from the wind acceleration zone, as did many others before heading south,& settled into a watch keeping system well (once the excitement of such a big occasion had reduced). The first night was probably the best we could’ve hoped for with good winds and so many stars to look at, it took/takes your breath away. The fleet spread out quickly, quicker than I thought it would and after a couple of days we rarely saw anything, meaning there wasn’t too much of a problem of us crossing over each others track… but this has happened on the way down including one yacht (should I name names?) who, despite being the give way yacht,forced us to take avoiding action and crossed 600 feet in front of us in the middle of the night and wouldn’t answer the radio. Turns out the same yacht did it to another 1 hour earlier forcing them and us to alter course by more than 20 degrees not knowing what their intentions were……. sod it, the yacht was try2fly. Not impressed at all!
We’ve sailed for about 700 miles only using the engine to charge the batteries which just don’t seem to be lasting as long as they should, with speeds up to 9.6 knots and winds gusting at 34 knots, but Friday afternoon we were forced to use engine propulsion as there is some weather heading our way with swells of 5 metres. With the engine on and now very little wind to help, our eta in Mindelo is Saturday about 22:00hrs… a night approach which isn’t ideal but so be it.
Highlights are lots of small things which together make ocean sailing so exciting especially sharing with my family and friends on board. I managed a quick phone call to my parents on Friday, it was great speaking to you Dad!
Lowlights…. still caught no fish AND having to clear our blocked holding tank. If anyone reading this doesn’t know what that is, best google it and have a bucket ready !!!
So this is me now handing the blog entry over to the crew for their thoughts…. if they can be arsed 🙂
Following 2 weeks of preparations in Las Palmas I think we were all glad to be on our way and sailing away from concerns about quantities of food, water,fuel etc. What will be, will be and it seems very unlikely that we will starve or die of thirst along the way. After a good start (hold back and avoid the confusion),the first 686 miles gave us a mix of wind conditions from light to moderate and led to some excellent sailing. We have learned a lot about down wind sailing on this leg and hope to put that to good use when we set off for the 2nd leg. Regrettably light winds have reduced our speed below 3knts and we are now motoring for the finish.
The notional skipper ( I say that because we all know Caroline is in charge here) has avoided doing any cooking despite his promise to learn before we set off and more over has failed to catch any fish to supplement our gargantuan food supplies! Personally I am grateful for this as the only tuna I like does not come thumping and bleeding onto the deck but calmly arrives in tins and bathed in olive oil. Talking of fish we have been fortunate to see plenty of dolphins and a single sighting of a 8m whale that came to surface alongside the boat, breathed out and presumably in before
disappearing to avoid any camera activity. Anyway I must get back to reading my novel and let the next person have a go. Signed lowly crew member.
Very pleased with myself as haven’t felt ill once and still enjoying my cups of tea.
All food on board is to an excellent standard and the time passes surprisingly quick.
Caroline ….. “can’t be arsed” !!!
Charlotte…… “I’m too busy tanning”
Hopefully there’s some wifi and we’ll upload some photos over the weekend.
Silhouette standing by…