Today we had the same conditions as yesterday, too much wind and breaking swells to swim beside the RHIB or the kayak. So we decided to implement yesterday’s plan and have me swim beside Seeker. This time we used a much lighter pole to tow my streamline. This is a windsurf mast that we use for the RHIB to tow my line. We extended it out of Seeker’s starboard side as much as possible, so that the streamline was as far as possible from the hull.
This worked as a charm, I was able to swim beside a 50 tones sailboat in the middle of the ocean. This line is much longer than the one we used with the RHIB, it is about 50 meters long. Every 5 meters a series of ribbons are attached to it. The closest series to the boat is white, then yellow, orange, red, blue and red and finally blue at the end of the line. Those different colors allow me to know where I am in reference to the boat and if I am getting close to the end of the line.
There are several challenges when swimming beside a heavy sailboat. She cannot slow or accelerate like a motorboat and her weight makes it even more difficult to do so.
Few times a gust of wind carried Seeker much faster than me and I saw my streamline racing below me and before I know it the blue ribbons were passing…not good, I had to sprint to catch-up with her and I was getting out of breath very often. Again not good, the last thing I want to do is to be out of breath in the middle of the ocean when crashing waves are coming my way. So I swam for few hours but not a full day since it was dangerous to try to sustain that level of intensity. But it was still an important experience and a set up we might have to use in the future.
STARTING POINT: 036° 10.253N, 144° 45.266E
FINISHING POINT: 036° 05.903N, 145° 09.305E
MILES SWUM: 205 NM
HOURS SWUM: 79 HRS
MILES TO GO: 4795