For the purpose of this note, I’m going to call it day three. I could check of course, by looking in Richards beautifully hand written Log book, but that’s three meters away on the high side of the boat and seems too much effort at this point. Day three is fine as it’s really just a succession of watches during which I’m either steering the boat, wedged in the cabin somewhere on ‘standby watch’ or asleep. It’s either light or dark that’s about it.
When it’s dark the cabin takes on a sort of Shakletonesk atmosphere, steaming kettles, very dim light, too many grown men crammed into too smaller space. Hushed tones, some snores, some quiet chats, but we are a happy ship. I write this as we bowl along at between 9 and 10 knots on a comfortable, bouncy, reach mug of tea in hand and grin on my face.
A few light and darks ago we rounded the Lizard in good company. One of the prettiest boats of all time, Winsom, engaged us in a tacking duel as we fought for the space of sea with the least foul tide. Once round we snuck along the coast until Land’s End and then dove out towards the Southern marker of the TSS. (Traffic separation Zone) used to keep the big ships safe and an area we racers are forbidden.
The next weypoint was the Northern edge of the Scillies. Bathed in sunshine, they looked all too inviting and I recalled to mind how Kitty and I had spent a few nights there last year with the kids halyard swinging in old Grimsby.
But now we had different purpose and as the wind veered behind us a little we had the opportunity to try our now Flying Headsail. A mixture between a jib and a Spinnaker. A huge foresail used when not tightly on the wind.
As it loaded and started to draw we could fell the fantastic feeling that I’m sure every racer must enjoy. Acceleration. Suddenly another 2 knots added to our speed, which given we still had over 100 miles to the Rock, would be significant. I popped on deck from my bunk to enjoy the moment only to be met by sad faces! Yes our flying headsail was up but it couldn’t stay that way, the bolt rope, which is it’s main point of strength had snapped. Quickly we dived away from the wind recovered another broken sail and replaced in with our trusty jib. With the wind now building we hope it hasn’t cost us to dearly.
True to his positive nature, no sooner had the sail arrived back in the forepeak, Bruce was up there figuring out a way to get the sail back in action. Garnering the massive experience on board and in a bold display of team spirit, we had jury rigged the sail in less than two hours. Let’s hope we need it on the way back from the rock.
That’s all for, I’m steering next in a dark bit.