Getting Ready for Azab our 300mile qualifier
Skippers: Kate Cope / Claire Dresser
Sat 27 Apr 2019 16:44
The original plan for the weekend was to race to Cherbourg with JOG , race home again to Cowes and then not stop but carry on to complete 300NM. It’s a requirement of the AZAB race that each boat and crew complete this distance to qualify.
The race back to Cowes was cancelled so we found ourselves unexpectedly starting in Cherbourg. Jerry Freeman from Juliette had advised a great way to plan to trip is to measure 300NM on a piece of string and then lay it on the chart so this is what we did.
Our route took us down the Alderney race which on the spring tide was flowing 8-10kts. We got the spinnaker flying and even though we had light winds we were making 14.3kts SOG ( speed over the ground)
We witnessed a fabulous sunset over Sark as the Sahara dust in the sky was turning the sky red. The dust wasn’t so lovely though when it coated the whole boat and I had to wash it twice to get it all back off again
The next day was light winds and a chance to try out the emergency solar panel. The Purple mist penguins are very eco conscious and enjoyed a quick sunbathe as they held it up. The panel is 21w and works well charging up phones and the Bluetooth speaker.
As well as sailing we are also testing out various recipes. I don’t have a fridge on the new boat so we only will have chilled food for the couple of days that bottles of frozen water stay frozen. Tuesday supper was a favourite pasta, pesto, salmon and peas . It’s a bit green but tastes good. For dessert I had some little sponge puddings which warmed as the pasta was cooking
Just before Eddystone lighthouse the wind increased to 20kts and it was pitch black as the moon had not yet risen. We planned how best to reef the main and J3 and then carefully executed the manoeuvre , the boat was pretty bouncy by this point. It was then an upwind slog overnight to get back East.
As the night drew on the wind lessened and soon it was plain Sailing across Lyme bay and round Portland bill . By evening we were off Lulworth and we had the flashes of the night firing from Lulworth ranges .
Finally we made it back Wednesday morning , 2days and 18hrs of non stop travel .
The penguins were celebrating as they seemed to have been busy overnight when not looking after the solar panel.