Day 5 - Channel Racing.

David Munro
Wed 14 Jan 2009 19:47
Day five and we're cruising along the North Namibian coast some 300 miles off shore with a steady 20 knot breeze sometimes gusting to 25 knots. We have a large following sea making life very interesting. During the night in a lull we hoisted the big grey runner and headed north of the Rhum line to keep a healthy distance between ourselves and the high which is re-establishing itself in the middle of the South Atlantic.
David spends time looking at the grib files which we download twice a day in an attempt to find the best routing for the boat. We have lost touch with the other competitors in the fleet,with us being pretty much the slowest rater, their routing may be irrelevant to ours. We have also lost touch with them as we havn't heard from race control for a couple of days and have no idea where they are.  In many respects as each day goes past the other competitors seem less important, we are racing the boat as fast as we can in our own small world.
We are not on any shipping route and havn't seen another vessel since sunday when a freighter went past on the horizon, the closest we have passed a vessel since has been at 12 miles occording to the AIS system on-board.
As the wind grew during the night we decided to take the big grey runner down and managed to get it wrapped around the forestay - note to self, don't try to drop the kite when it is collapsed on an asymetric. We ran for a few hours with jib only whilst we sorted ourselves out and at first light hoisted our heavy runner which is much more forgiving and suitable to the conditions. We ran all day some 30 degrees high of the Rhum line being the best angle we could get.
We are all members of the 16knot club except Paul who could only manage 15.  John has the record with a sustained 17.8 knots down the back of an enormous wave - boat boat took off with everyone hanging on. As the evening approached we gybed back onto a westerly course and are now charging along in total darkness on the space ship Jacana.
Nature watch.
Visited again today by Albatross.
A single flying fish took off as we ripped down a wave
Something yet to be identified growing between Chris's toes.