Day 4

EAGER - Fastnet 2021
Chris C-W
Thu 12 Aug 2021 05:50

What a day!! I was beginning to wonder why anyone would want to race offshore, but today gave me reason.

All hands on deck was called at about 0500hrs so we could savour the rounding of Fastnet Rock together. It was blowing a solid 20knots, we were beating to windward and it was raining….and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Perfect.

We approached from the North on a Port tack. We had seen the light from miles out, but as we closed in it became romantically ominous. That perfect Alfred Hitchcock gloom, the slender tower standing atop a ragged mass of granite, the light beaming out just as a child would paint it. Johnny took a remarkably atmospheric snap. Shame we can’t share it with you here via satellite.

Anyway, once round we headed for Cherbourg. Standby and Off Watch went below and at 0800hrs my watch was relieved. It was still raining and gloomy. I mention this because when I popped my head out at 1100hrs we could have been in the Caribbean. Glorious blue sky, white crested waves rolling along with us, dolphins leaping etc etc we bowled down wind with the A3 up.

Confidence in the fine weather had built to such and extent that foulies were coming off, sodden mattresses were now on deck drying out and hatches were gingerly being opened.

Within an hour it looked like a holiday camp. Shorts, t-shirts, suncream, the works. And so the day continued.

Annoyingly and for no apparent reason, our Yellow Brick Satellite tracker stopped working. With time on our hands and one of the UK’s leading electronic scientists on board we decided to have a go at fixing it. With no solder iron on board it seemed a long shot, but armed with sail needles, medical clamps and an array of heavy boat tools Ed went to work, ably assisted by at least another five crew, all making encouraging noises. Sure enough after an hour and a half of fiddling and swearing we called no joy and put the blasted thing back together. And hey presto it worked!! But only manually, so you might see the occasional sporadic location update.

Our happy yellow brick episode lead us neatly into happy hour, which uniquely on this trip, was actually happy!! Adam provided the best 80’s banger soundtrack you could ask for, Rupert and Bruce appeared from below with charcuterie on boards and Ben administered the ration of beers.

Oh and there was some sailing too. Which was as good as it gets.

And now it’s dark again. On watch. 8knots of wind, 6-8knots of boat speed, gloriously clear sky, bright stars and what appears to be a advantageous upwind position as we head back into the English Channel.

A very good day.