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Date: 05 Aug 2008 03:39:40
Title: SKIPPER'S UPDATE

Hello Followers!
 
It is really heartening to know that so many of you are following our progress.  The crew love the idea that they are not out here alone in this vast grey wilderness!  Somehow the balance between remote living in small teams on this yacht and the occasional few lines by email set the right balance.
 
I have been asked for some more technical data on our progress.  I have asked the watch leaders to include this in their blogs in future.  Today we have had little sunshine breaking through the layer of grey stratos cloud.  A rather mellow morning was spent up top with Anne's Watch and an afternoon doing stuff - including making bread!  Successfully but a little dense, like damper really.  I will have to try again tomorrow.  At present it is dark, chilly and nearly wind-less.  The 2 to 12 knots of breeze arrives from the East to North East and drops away again, all due to the high pressure that has enveloped Adventure over the last 24 hours.  I need to keep the boat speed at around 7 knots to meet my deadlines but then I only have about 1000 miles of fuel, some of which has already been expended during the 1050 miles we have travelled so far.  And I need most of that for the potential fog and ice hazards close in to Greenland and the west coast if it turns light in the high pressure around Greenland.
 
Whilst I have been concerning myself with reading the Arctic Pilot books etc, Windy has been teaching the Competent Crew Syllabus and more to our eager crew.  They have covered much of it already during their training since January but it never hurts to revise things and then discuss how they apply to ocean sailing rather than pottering about in the Solent.  We have both been guiding the crew and fixing bits and pieces that always go wrong at sea - mainly domestic stuff.  For example, the heads (loo) door came off its hinges, a small chaff appeared on the mainsail, a piece of web strap that stops the main sheet twisting came apart and needed replacing.  That sort of thing.  And Windy is great at making running improvements too.  His 90,000+ sea miles give him a great experience base on which to draw.  We all learn from him daily.  And yet he is so self-deprecating, talking of the brilliance of other skippers like Becky rather than himself.  Never happier than when he is busy, he is also trying hard to quit smoking on this trip and so far so good. 
 
 
Picture shows Rachel, Dave and Windy during a stormy afternoon just before it all kicked off.
 
You will know that the crew do 4 hours on 4 hours off for their 24 hour day - 0000 to 0400; 0400 to 0800; 0800 to 1200; 1200 to 1400; 1400 to 1600; 1600 to 2000; 2000 to 0000.  The dog watches mean they swap about so do not do the same watch on successive days.  One day in 3 they perform Mother Watch for a 24 hour period,  Windy and I split the night watches 6 and 6.  I do 2000 hrs to 0200 hrs and Windy does 0200 hrs to 0800 hrs.  He is happy with that as he gets some peace to make and mend various bits and pieces.  I like that arrangement as I like sunsets not sunrises!  Windy then sleeps for a few hours in the morning and we both grab a "Pensioners" some time during the afternoon to recharge our batteries ready for the night watches.  All our stuff is fitted around that routine.
 
Anyway, it is 0125 local time and I need to download the latest weather charts and get ready to brief Windy who comes on watch at 0200 hrs, so will say goodbye for now.
 
Keep following these intrepid explorers of yours - be proud of them; they are all doing well and all learning some really valuable lessons.
 
Richard

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