We made it to Ponta Delgardo!
Skipper: Kate Cope
Tue 11 Jun 2019 08:37
At 09:15 we finally crossed the finish line in Ponta Delgardo after a somewhat frustrating night of light winds.
We skirted round the west side of the island in 6kts of breeze, going slowly but at least moving. As we turned round the headland and closed into land the wind increased +50% (just as the French predicted) and we picked up some speed. Midnight and doing 5kts or so we were potentially 3hrs from the finish. However I was warning Bobby that old Purple Mist doesn’t like finishing races in the dark...and this new one seems to have picked up the same bad habit. As soon as we were in the shadow of the volcano that was it...2-3kts of wind and we were struggling to make 1kt at times. There was no katabatic wind pouring down the hillside, this sometimes happens at night when you least want it but when you need it nothing. At least we did seem to have about 0.5kts if favorable current so we drifted along.
Then came the squeaking. I think it was Dolphins but whatever it was was circling the boat, whizzing past and just loudly squeaking at us... were they just laughing at our predicament? It went on for hours all this mad squeaking all around us but no sight of anything on the surface
Little by little we inched along the shoreline . It was a shame it was dark as I imagine it would be quite nice to look at. Dawn finally came and still no wind. We had the Code Zero flying and were happy to make 1kt. However now that current had turned the other way so even the 1kt we were travelling in the water was negated by the 0.5kt of current against us.
I should say by this time I had had just 1 hour of sleep in the past 24hrs so not at my best. Off the last headland there was a sort of optical illusion of the light on the water that made it look like we were travelling backwards into the rocks on the shoreline though the plotter said we were stationary or going slightly forwards , very weird
Wind shifted a bit more forward on the boat so in a final cruel twist we had to then tack back and forward missing the rocky breakwater and moored boats until we finally came to the line. We saw Polished Manx who had gone East finish just ahead of us as the wind seemed to fill from the East. He has been very slow too though so I’m not sure it would make much difference.
The Marina rib came out to the finish line and sounded a hooter as we crossed. I managed to share the moment on Facebook live and thanks to those that were watching it was good to share with you. Bobby was less impressed as my helming was going to pot trying to Facebook and steer!
We were greeted on the pontoon by the other boats. Kuba on Polished Manx has bought beers and gave me a bottle of sparkling wine as he was so impressed I had managed to catch him up after turning backwards.
Everyone was buoyant and swopped tales of storms , damage and bouncing boats . I feel very thankful that other than the wardrobes nothing broke on my boat . Others also confessed to being scared which I found reassuring it wasn’t just me being a bit of a novice.
Our final position is now being calculated. When you stop to help another boat you can claim the time back (redress) . It was not just us who helped Bigfoot. Zest and Polished Manx also hung around and helped Bigfoot a while. Also other boats were helping the others that have lost their rigs etc so there is a fair few corrections to be made on final positions. The achievement for us was to finish, a good position is a bonus. On that first morning to be still alongside Bigfoot and ahead of many great boats was a massive achievement for me.
So final blog of the journey here and Purple Mist is safely moored up looking very Purple as always.
Marine traffic also showing her in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean !!! Sometimes I have to pinch myself... How did that happen???!
Finally thanks again to all those supporting me from honey, it really does mean a lot to me to know you are with me in spirit. Race back starts Tuesday 18th.