Friday, 16 June 2023, 09.00 GMT

Fri 16 Jun 2023 09:48
We continue to sail along the direct line to Plymouth. Thursday was a warm sunny day and we powered, broad reached, at 6 to 7 Kn, a comfortable pace. In the late afternoon the wind veered, as forecast, further south, so to keep from heading east we rolled the main and ran with just the genoa back on our course line.

We were on a starboard tack, the side we should roll the main into the mast, conditions were easy, but getting the sail rolled involved luffing up with the genoa flapping, bearing off to maintain steerage, repeating this until the sail was stowed. Despite the improvements made in Horta to the system I just don’t see the in mast furling as a belt and braces seaworthy reefing system even when warm water sailing. When we head north, when inevitably we will get caught out on a windswept dark night, banging in a reef or dropping the main completely will have a real urgent edge to it. I just can see a jammed mainsail turning a manageable experience into an epic drama. In Plymouth we will talk to Neil at Hemisphere Rigging to see what solution options we have. Changing to slab reefing is not straight forward. However he is re-considering whether it really is necessary to change the mast.

Everything else on Action Penguin is pretty top notch and she sails beautifully - like the Contessa 32 but significantly more comfortably. She has, theoretically, exactly the same self righting characteristics as the Contessa, way beyond most modern yachts.

In line with the Grib forecast the wind veered more south at daybreak allowing us to sail on a beam reach down our course line and with 2/3 of the main set we accelerated a couple of Knots.

We have now covered 764 miles, 548 to Rame Head of Plymouth. We’re reeling in our destination. The forecast suggests fair winds all the way to the U.K.

46:26.53N 16:45.10W