Author: Ric, plus Chris
If all sailing was like today has been, maybe it would catch on! We've had
a steady 15 knots of wind from the NE all day, so we're running downwind
with the a consistent 8-9 knots of boat speed. Proper trade winds stuff -
white puffy clouds and scorching sunshine. Sleeping down below is made more
difficult now by the sweltering temperatures during the day. There's no
breeze down here - our boat is designed to keep the water out, so doesn't
have any vents. It's also difficult to sleep through the deafening squeak of
the spinnaker sheet, which is constantly being trimmed. Every few seconds
there's a loud bang as the sheet, under enormous tension is eased. Then
after a few calm seconds where the only sound is the Atlantic ocean
screaming past the outside of the hull, you hear 'GRIND!' followed by a
noisy winch turning, seemingly inside your head. It's amazing what you get
used to though - I now sleep soundly, and only become restless when the
noises stop - telling me that the crew need to be reminded to keep working
All night we could see one single red light - the port aspect of another
yacht. As dawn broke we crossed tracks and have kept them on our port side
all day. They're not close enough to identify, but we keep telling
ourselves that they look much bigger than us, and so hopefully we're either
not racing against them (different class) or they give us time on handicap.
Either way, it's nice to have company in this otherwise featureless place.
Chris writes: "Another pretty smooth night of relatively constant 10-15 knot
winds with the odd 20 knot gust saw us make very good progress. Although,
as with all sailing, we're not necessarily going in the direction we'd
prefer. On board, hardly anyone turns the light on any more. We get in and
out of our gear happily without it and it helps the watch on deck."
"The main events of the night involved each watch gybing the spinnaker, both
times without any dramas or shouting (very unusual on any boat). Sebastian
recalled a night gybe on an Italian boat that had been somewhat less
"O-watch were very surprised to see George from H-watch appearing back on
deck after being off watch for only 45 minutes, convinced his shift had
started. He was led gently back to bed. The only cloud on our horizon has
been that Sebby from O-watch spent the night feeling unwell and unable to
take part in any sailing. Thankfully he's back up and about today."
"We keep being caught by the beauty of the sea at night and enjoy it while
we are trying to keep the boat going fast at any moment. When P42 rewards
us with her acceleration and throws waves and spray, the sea switches on
it's magic phosphorescense. Dolphins surging through the night water are
flashing trails of ghostly light."
I (Ric) should probably displace the ideal world that my crew seem to live
in with a little reality check! When I described the gybes last night as
good, I only mean't that nothing got broken - definitely room for
Finally, Sebby (Sebastian) would like to make it clear when the photos
appear that there are TWO Sebastians on board, and he was definitely NOT the
one seen stark naked (except for his lifejacket), washing on the back of the
boat this afternoon. A sight we're all still trying to forget.