31:11.681N 010:33.065W

Telefonica Black
Lance Shepherd
Wed 15 Jan 2020 07:25
V - I believe we can fly
What an awesome day it was! I am almost tempted to say 'champagne' sailing but for that we need a little bit higher temperatures..
After a full night on engine (really!!), we were all ready for some sailing again. Even though most of us sleep well with the engine on, the the wind in the sails and the sound of the waves against the hull is much more satisfying. The wind varied between 6-12 knots and we averaged 9,5 knots boat speed throughout the day. A new record after all the light patches we had to endure since we left Gibraltar. The wind is coming onto the nose so the 2nd watch has been doing some tacks during the course of the day. This made us off watch role left and right in our bunks and we were set on getting back to them! But about 1 hour into our watch the wind changed and even though we are still sailing close hauled, it is unlikely we will need to put another tack in..
Currently we are hugging the coast of Morocco and it is just a little after 10 pm. The sky is super clear and we are doing great speeds under a starry night. We would not have any worries were it not for the fishing vessels (lit and unlit) surrounding us. During a watch we divide the roles between a person at the helm, a trimmer, a navigator and a spotter. These roles change every 40 minutes so everybody does everything on every watch. At this moment however the navigator and trimmer are assisting the spotter because the last thing we want to do is to get too close to one of these fishing vessels.
As promised I had the opportunity to chat with 2 guys from the other watch and asked them why they chose to be on this trip. The other watch consists of Claire (who is doing a great job at keeping our stomach filled with the most delicious meals), David (UK - crew), Adam (IRL), Johannes (GER), Simon (UK) and Mark (UK). The guys in the spotlight today are Adam and Johannes.
Adam would have loved to cross the Atlantic with us but he works on a 4 weeks on, 4 weeks off basis on an oil rig and the dates did not match. He decided to go on this trip just for the experience and to get some miles under his belt. He is planning to do his Yachtmaster Offshore and wanted to experience 24/7 life on board. 'Why not on a VO70 racing machine if that's an option'.
And then Johannes. Our German friend who definitely wins 'the best dressed sailor' award onboard. I always complain how sailing gear is technical and not always the best fit (and who cares as long as it is waterproof). But Johannes shows it can be done.
He has been planning a crossing with his friends for years but somehow life always came in between. This month an opportunity arose for him so he decided to go for it. Johannes is not only doing the Gibraltar - Las Palmas trip but is joining us all the way to Antigua. He hopes to gain more sailing experience and really likes the fact that he is doing that on a VO70.
Tomorrow you will hear from Simon and Mark.
We are continuing to keep a sharp eye out for (un)marked fishing vessels, searching for dolphins and shooting stars, and basically enjoying whatever nature is throwing at us. The prediction is that the wind will build later tonight and that we will be doing some 'flying' tomorrow with the wind on the beam. Looking forward to it already!