Day 8

Wed 22 Mar 2023 17:54
N 26 07.710. W033 09.891
Doing 5 knots on 241
TWS 10 TWA 178

Getting into the groove of downwind, has been a relatively tough couple of days though as we learn how to best setup Moonshiner for going downwind in light airs. 2 nights ago was really rolley which took it out of everyone with little sleep then a bit of an eventful night last night.

We were running on starboard tack with a poled out asymmetric. Felt pretty precarious getting the thing setup and getting the pole clipped to sheet and then mast. A lot of force with the thing seething around on the foredeck as the sail fills and then doesn’t. Got going and went well though until just after midnight when the pole snapped, just the end of it but again was difficult to retrieve. Not sure if we did anything wrong or if the pole is just very old and corroded. Had a bit of a mare setting the boat back up and eventually settled on the Yankee without pole but couldn’t then sail very deep so took quite a lot of south. Has been great talking with Ryan about weather most days and the advice at the moment is to take a fairly w’ly track if we can. We then tried to pole out the Yankee with the smaller pole but it kept slipping back down the sheet regardless of how tight we got the forward guy. Eventually at first light we got the main up and then as the wind dropped further added back in the asymmetric with our really big pole. This seemed to happen easily so either some luck or we’re getting better at it!
Was good to make good progress again, mainly 6 knots plus in 15 knots of wind but has now dropped, often below 10 knots when nothing fills nicely and we get a load of horrible noise from the rig at the sails flap then fill suddenly.

Katie just handed me freshly made flapjack so the afternoon is looking up!

Everyone in good spirits and coping well, we’re eating really well tho about to be on that threshold of running out of fresh stuff.

About to click through a 1000 miles (currently on 981) from the Azores. Still can’t quite imagine that we’ve got at least another 2 weeks to go and possibly/probably more.

Water consumption going ok, still haven’t got through the port tank (200L) and have the starboard one full (450l). Put 2 (of 4) of the spare containers of water into the post tank and connected these to the rain water collection system. A few small rain clouds have blown over but nothing specific. The girls talk a lot about showers and washing, the boys don’t seem to mention it..

The toilet blocked. Nearly got nasty with Katie’s standing by with big spanner’s and gloves but Chris saved the day with some vigorous plunging.

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