Day 14: what a night dot dot dot
Skippers: Kate Cope / Claire Dresser
Sat 21 Jan 2023 17:17
Day 14: what a night dot dot dot!
Day 14 …Two whole weeks at sea! What we thought was going to be another light airs fairly relaxed day turned into another tough gig with us having to dig deep again last night.
We are still escaping this area of light winds which is why we are going so slowly in comparison our competition who are romping ahead. This often happens in racing the rich get richer and if you miss the weather window you are well and truly stuffed. Well my dear friends we missed the window and are well and truly stuffed.
Anyway we have been making best possible efforts with the big S2 spinnaker up the whole of yesterday and half of last night. We took it down as a squall hit, I have to say we have got very slick on our spinnaker drops with it safely down the hatch before you could say “ Is that more rain dear?”
Anyway then ensued the most frustrating 8hrs. The wind was so variable, one minute 3 kts, next 15 kts and swung in direction from north east to South. We had the smaller S3 kite up and it needed constant attention on trim and helm …a full time job. Helming was impossible as the night was fully black with not a single star peeking from behind the thick cloud to guide you so George the Autopilot did his best with constant input up or down to keep us either vaguely heading for Grenada or when the wind dropped just simply moving along. We moved to a 1hr watch system and subsequently by morning we were both exhausted. You can see by our track , which was all on the same tack, how erratic the route is
By daylight the wind had stabilised enough that you could leave George unattended for 15mins so my final watch was spent in the cockpit in the beanbag. I was sleeping for 15mins, trimming the sails/ helm, then sleeping another 15 mins. Slowly as the wind stabilised it was heartening to wake up with the boat pointing the right way doing 6.5 kts.
So far the wind today is more stable and so we’ve been able to catch up on some much needed sleep.
Other than that drama we have seen lots of flying fish today , not on the decks but scooting about, above the waves. No sign of our pet whale though I think I’ve heard a bit of blowing …though it can always be just another wave. My Fuel cell outlet chimney is growing daily as we drink each bottle of water and is now almost reaching the hatch opening . It’s really working to vent the hot air away from us in the cabin.
Finally we are thinking of an award ceremony for the boat kit which has given the best service. A sort of Purple Mist Oscars. So far vying for top spot is George the Autopliot and the spinnaker net which certainly saved our bacon last night. The Certus Sat system whilst great for data lost its chance when it failed to boot up again last night and the paper clip had to be deployed again to reboot it. Also in contention for awards are the Efoy Fuel cell which has been 100% busy producing power - though now down to 3.5 amps versus the expected 5.8amps. The solar panel has also done well, currently chucking out a welcome 2.7amps. Between the solar and the fuel cell we have enough power if we are careful and have not needed to run the engine to charge