Skipper’s Report

27th January 2017
Time: 1743z
Position: 16°50.3N 55°40.3W
COG: 275°T
SOG: 9kts
Wind: ENE 5
Swell: NE 3-4ft
Sky: 4/8 cumulus
Weather: Good

Boat, ocean, wind, land. A straight line and an ever-diminishing distance between the former and latter. Rock on.

The wind is back! We are currently making over 9kts bang on target, and it’s a good feeling after what now feels like an eternity of slow frustrating helming. Jetsam (our spinnaker) has now been flying non-stop for nearly 10 days, without incident I might add, and it’s nice to have some power back in the boat and a proper return on the effort helming takes. I read in a book on seamanship the other day “only the hardiest of crews sail boats across oceans without auto-helm these days”. I’m not sure if we are deserving of the full credit of being a ‘the hardiest of crews’, but we get by, and auto-helm is a distant concept at best. The closest thing we have at present is ‘Aussie-helm’ and ‘Alex-helm’.

The Disco Hottest 25 went down at sundown yesterday evening, with the top 20 songs being played out for everyone’s entertainment, complete with commentary and ‘phone in’ interviews with those whose songs were entered. The winner was We Play The Music, the acoustic version by Ed Solo. If one thing became apparent from the top 20, it was the impact Joe’s iPod and taste in music has had on the boat in 4 weeks. He has promised to send us out some mixes to San Diego for the Pacific leg and expedition. That’s public now Joe, so you’ve got to come good on it…

In the excitement of Australia Day yesterday, I was later reminded that it had also been exactly 4 weeks since sailing out of the UK on Boxing Day. It’s been a highly successful 4 weeks in my opinion. No major drama, a boat on the other side of the Atlantic, on schedule, and some brilliant sailing in-between. Long may it continue!

Today Léa played a blinder in the galley, with a lunch menu of what could be gently described as her least favourite meal on board. However, she managed to ‘tinker’ with it, within the parameters of the planned menu of course, and create one of the best meals of the trip so far. Nothing like innovation in the face of adversity. Actually, I think that little line nicely encapsulates one of the things I like most about offshore and ocean sailing. The most difficult circumstances elicit the best creativity and teamwork in finding solutions, and when there isn’t anyone else around for many hundreds of miles in any direction, that is normally a good thing!

300nm left to run. Beers and showers are calling.

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