Day 1 - Champagne Sailing
Skipper: Kate Cope
Mon 9 Jan 2023 22:08
It’s the end of Day 1 and its been champagne sailing conditions aboard Purple Mist. Claire is fond of a glass of the old Champers and so whilst we have no alcohol aboard she can at least enjoy the sailing.
We have had the big kite up since the start, overnight and most of the day. Purple Mist has been really flying along . However as we started to go between Tenerife and Las Palmas the wind compresses and accelerates so we finally swopped down to the smaller more stable S3 spinnaker. Purple Mist was definitely groaning at me with an incredibly heavy helm and even the trick that Deb taught me to pole forward wasn’t enough
With the S3 sail we were flying again and much more in control. Claire and I were vying for record boat speed first 11.4 kts then 12.5kts. Finally we both hit 13.8 kts surfing down waves in 26kts of wind. Great fun but incredibly hairy. Reluctantly after some almost broaches we decided it’s a bit early in the trip to explode a sail and switched out the spinnaker for a jib. Again Purple Mist is incredibly good at feeding back when things need to be sorted out . It’s like a different boat now all calm and relaxed. Unfortunately the key competition is still flying spinnakers so we will loose out short term.
First thing this morning we opened our daily present from Jeremy . Today it was a countdown clock preset with the best time achieved by Jangada on this race . Our target to beat …we have got better weather at the start so it’s a possibility.
Sadly we have lost visual sight of Sea Bear and looking at the tracker they have got well ahead. They gybed earlier than us . Our tactic was to follow the routing which said stay north a little longer but looks like it didn’t pay off.
Anyway it’s not all about winning , we’ve had some incredible views of Mount Tiede on Tenerife. We are both super happy onboard and today nothing has broken despite some abuse of the sails as winds they are not designed for.
I was reflecting on the advice everyone has given me these past 5 years . So much of what I do onboard is a combination of tips from the best Doublehanded offshore sailors. The Doublehanded community in the Solent really is the best.
Lots of people ask how we sleep , basically we do manoeuvres with both of us, then one of us pops off to bed leaving the other either helming or trimming a feisty spinnaker single handed. Light winds it seems best the Autopilot steers and we trim but mostly we lock off the Spi sheet and just steer to it. If it collapses you need to steer into it to fill it again. There is some time needed to make food and look at weather and emails but actually we get quite a lot of sleep.