Day 2

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Thu 20 Oct 2011 11:33
18°44.188N 112°19.9638E
Thur 20/10 1750LT
220nm in our first 24hrs at an avg speed in the high 8's is an El Oro record!
It was a shame we lost the kite through the second half of last night, but the forecast 20kn this morning allowed us to keep our avg respectable. We sailed E of our rhumbline  to get a better wind angle without sacrificing our VMG.
After lunch (gourmet sandwiches of porchetta on seeded rye with salad and egg mayonnaise and a red wine chaser) the wind died so we decided to set the kite, even though we are down to one spare halyard. Some Burmese re-interpretation of which direction a rope winds around a winch resulted in the Skipper taking an express elevator ride aloft. Somewhere between the first and second spreader (in about .05 sec!) I saw water rather than deck underneath and decided this was the best time to let go, the alternative was to keep hold and get shot out the top of the mast like a human cannon ball. After hitting the water from about 50' I saw a convenient Jesus Line swim past which was the spinnaker's (now in the water again alongside the hull) sheet. I don't recommend grabbing 10mm Spectra line when it's doing 9kn, but at the time it seemed a better option than floating for an hour while a full MOB maneuvre was completed. With not much finger skin left I got back onboard via our emergency rope ladder and now have 5 fingers covered in bandages and condoms. A good practical demonstration for our 2 Burmese Sea Cadets that are doing some "live" training onboard - the slightest error or lapse of concentration can very quickly turn into disaster. Now nicely drugged by Dr. Wilson so should be interesting next stint on the helm!
Shortly after, we revisited the kite idea and this time, using CW winding on the winch successfully sent it, and it alone, aloft. Speed picked back up to 10-11kn for 30min before the kite, well half of it, decided to go swimming again, while the other half stayed at mast head imitating a flag. Time to break out the sewing machine, but as the kite's being a bit tempermental we'll save it for the last day when the prediction is for quite light winds.
Seas have certainly abated the last 24 hrs so should be able to start the scrabble tournament tomorrow. All crew in good spirits and well rested, Stephen's smelling very sweet always, I think he's taking two showers each day. Possibly a tactical ploy as we do carry 2 tonne of water and with light winds forecast for Sat it's a good idea to shed some weight.
On the last sked we had passed one boat and were just behind another. Next sked's in 15min so we'll see how our kite issues have affected us. We are in the Premier Cruising division and the other yachts around us are IRC. We do have a very favourable IRC handicap for this type of race so it will be a good oppurtunity for us to see how we rate against the pure-bred race yachts.