Home thoughts from a broad reach

Fri 29 Aug 2008 22:02

It's been a fun couple of days, as we finally received weather that was worse than any of our training trips. Our route is apparently on the border between a low and a high pressure system, which is sending us winds from the west, which is nice, but sometimes we are a little too blessed. Yesterday, Ginger watch went forward to reduce sail, and took in the first reef. With waves breaking over the foredeck, it was sporty on the windward side, but downright emotional on the lee side, where Mike and Tom were putting reefing bungees around the sail. However you soon reach the point where you are soaking wet, start laughing and the fear of the foredeck soon dissolves. I think that the sight of my life-jacket inflating itself as I tidied the ropes may have helped with the giggles!

The strong winds (up to 35 knots) helped the speed, like a bird on the wing, over the seas back to home. The best speed seen, if just for a moment as we surfed down a wave, was 19.3 knots, which is about two and a half times faster than our usual speed!

This mornings watch (0800 to 1200) was more relaxed as the waves calmed and the winds have now blown through, and we are actually motor-sailing in the light winds and gentle swell.

Ginger watch leader, “Student Stu”, in relaxed mood

A few other random thoughts that have occurred to me, normally on the first watch, between midnight & 4 A.M..

The amazing difference perspective makes. When I first saw “Adventure” back in January on the selection weekend, I thought she was a very large yacht, and far too complicated for me to learn enough to be of any use on board. Now after almost crossing the Atlantic, she doesn't feel so big, and all the odd drills and routines make perfect sense in context.

The sense of awe, at ancient mariners who went to sea without the electronic gadgets that we have and the modern fabrics we have to keep us warm and dry. Everything on deck is manually powered, but we can get the latest weather reports, to plan routes on our electronic charts, and send and receive emails (which always bring a smile to your face, when you are told you have mail). Water to a mariner is like gold, we have a water maker, which desalinates the sea water and provides almost unlimited drinking water; though we keep enough stored in the tanks that we could probably manage a short cruise like this with sensible rationing.

Andy – Ginger Watch