Day 2 | Heading the right way

Tue 27 Nov 2018 15:50
24 15.010N 019 04.320W @1300UT 27/11/2018
Daily Run 197nm
Tune of of the day: "Go West" by the Pet Shop Boys
Yesterday's fluky winds continued throughout the afternoon. Frustration started to take a grip of the crew and doubt quickly set in as we questioned if our seemingly rogue route strategy was a good idea. Then, as if someone flicked a switch, the breeze filled in and once again we were off. The new breeze allowed us to set a course with a little more west in it, so instead of pointing at Western Sahara, we were now heading for Brazil - at least it's on the right side of the Atlantic! As the wind changed direction again, we brought "Prince" down and set up a new sail configuration called a Twizzle. This complex combination (even more complex than one of Ben's recipies) involves, 3 sails, 1 additional pole, and 9 different ropes - a combination that Ben is a true master in setting up.
After about 25 minutes, our Twizzle rig was set and to reward us for the hard work, a pod over over 50 dolphins, a turtle and a whale swam, played and jumped alongside the boat for a few hours. Now, we've seen a lot of dolphins in the Atlantic before, but these were very active. They were jumping 3 meters high and some slapping their tails as they re-entered the water. Were they trying to tell us something?
As the sun set, and we polished off an amazing Ottelenghi pasta dish by Ben, gybed the sails and for the first time of the trip, we were pointing the boat at St. Lucia. HUZZAH!
As with the previous night, the star show was phenomenal. Sailing conditions were perfect too, as we regularly surfed Theia into double figures. If sailing was like this every day, you'd never get us off the water.
The sense of remoteness out here is quite something. We can only see other yachts when they're about 4 miles away and they only show up on our computer screens when they're 8 miles away. During the previous 24hrs we hadn't seen a single other yacht, just a few ships heading South. However, last night it was as if the fleet were all descending on one spot as in the space of 5 hours in the night, we saw 12 other yachts, and had to adjust our course 3 times to avoid crashing into fellow competitors. It's crazy, such a vast stretch of water yet we were on a collision course three times.
Dawn broke and the last of the collision course yachts disappears Southward and again, we're alone again with only one other vessel for company, as we both head in the same direction.
Theia Crew
Today's "firsts" for Iain
- Sail under a twizzle rig
- Wild turtle
- Whale breech
- Large pod of dolphins
- Using a a sea toilet at 45 degrees
Daily Stats
Max boat speed: 11.7kts
Dolphins spotted: 50+
Turtles: 1
Headsail changes: 5
Flying Fish on deck: 0
Buckets of vomit: Nada