Day 4 blues

Calypso's Web Diary
Joe Drury
Fri 24 Jun 2011 17:49

42:33N 22:08W

This morning saw me up at dawn (5am) to wrestle the spinnaker to the deck, as I wished to change course 20 degrees to windward. It was, and still is F5-6, a bit strong for spinnakers, for us at least. So down came the spinnaker. This wasn’t easy.

Then I went below and tried to get Alex out of her berth after only 4 hours sleep. This, also, wasn’t easy.

Then we decided to run with the Genoa for a bit, but after a while we had to cease its flogging using the spinnaker pole, which then promptly snapped. Wrestling half a spinnaker pole to the deck attached to a flailing genoa sheet is not my ideal morning exercise, although it did get the heart pumping.

Then we hoisted the Asymmetric Spinnaker, but for some reason, probably due to the size of the thing, the large 4m waves coming from our starboard quarter, and the skippers tiredness, we couldn’t get it to trim and set right. The occasional mini-broach kept whoever was on watch on their toes. Not particularly easy.

Then I went to sleep. Now this was very easy!

Part two of the day started with Alex watching episodes of Frasier on the computer, which she calls “being on watch”. This went badly wrong when she ate all our supplies of Haribo sweets, then threw them up again into a bucket. It was psychedelic to say the least.

I’ve had my usual starkers hour in the sun but have repaired to the cockpit because the sheets from the chute kept dipping in the Atlantic and then whipping taut as the sail cracked open, chucking freezing droplets all over me. Nice at first, but annoying after a while. Also I’m worried about the Google Earth satellite.

Percy update - not much change, although with the change of course we are heeling more to port, which causes him to slide around doing his Happy Feet dance with the occasional flap and squawk as we get swept by a wave. We are spoiling him a bit, last night I emptied out the spare rope bin and lined it with an old towel and some kitchen roll, then cut up into squares a load of paper for him to nest. I think he likes it.

Tonight is Alex’s long watch, we are doing 2 hours on, 2 off in the evening, from midnight till 6. Last night I had 12-2 and 4-6, tonight it is the reverse. After 6 we do whatever is needed with the sails, then veg for a bit, brekkie, charge the batteries, et cetera. I’m finding that I’m not a slave to routine that I have been when single-handed, I’m still unsure whether this is a good thing or not... We seem to just make it up as we go along, if one of us needs sleep in the day, the other stands watch. Alex is still being revolted by the smell of the cooker, so she’s not too keen on cooking. This suits me up to a point, because if I cook I get to eat whatever I want, plus she has to do the washing up!

As far as miles go, yesterday was a stormin’ 144, today’s midday total was 63, so 126 hopefully by the end of the day. We would like to see 120 miles per day, no less, this gets us in at 1300 on the 1st of July. At the moment we have 838 miles to go, at precisely 1742 GMT. On schedule with  7 days left. I don’t know how we are doing with standing in the race, any detailed info on that would be appreciated greatly. Also updates on our shipmates on Lexia and Foula would be great.

J + A