fast and hot

on board

fast and hot

From Financial Crisis in the GOR…

The past few days have finally brought the fast ride we had been promised
on the brochure, averaging over 10 knots in the right direction since
saturday afternoon. I believe we’ve been the fastest boat in the fleet for
a while, we caught up around 50 miles from Cessna’s lead and extended by
about 15 on Phesheya since the beginning of the weekend.

During saturday night we had the big spinnaker up when we were caught by a
squall, we hanged on for dear life as the boat leapt off the waves surfing
at nearly 20 knots in winds briefly gusting just over 30 knots, it was the
strongest squall we had been caught by this far so admittedly we were
unprepared to take down the spinnaker and we just rode it out in walls of
spray through the total darkness of the moonless night. The wind seems to
build and get stronger during the night, it may just be a coincidence, but
last night we changed to the medium spinnaker and still held the fastest
average, I really cannot afford to trash the big spinnaker again so we
have to be careful and preserve the materials, we’ve been pretty lucky and
are sailing in a band of "good wind" and with a good wave pattern that
lets us get up and surf easily.

Other than a couple of sail changes there hasn’t been much to report. The
floating sargasso weed has been a very annoying problem, constantly
getting caught in the rudders.

The sunshine during daytime hours has also been a worry, it is too hot
really to be outside in the sun and down below it’s unbearably hot,
especially now that the speeds have increased and we’ve been forced to
close all hatches as too much water was getting in when hitting waves,
only the night brings some respite…

There seems to be more marine life around here, plenty of birds of the
flying kind this morning, you know with wings and all, I wouldn’t call
myself an expert ornithologist though. I can just about tell the difference
with flying fish, with the latter being blue and the former white or brown
or gray. This morning there was a carnage of flying fish on deck, their
survival technique reminds me of people jumping out of burning buildings,
I can appreciate the thought behind the jump but it does help to give some
thought as to the landing point and speed. But then I have never heard the
expression "you’re as clever as a flying fish" although at least on paper
sounds damn clever for a sea creature to be able to do.

All in all we’re certainly not complaining, we’ve been knocking down mile
after mile in a relentless surf towards the Caribbean islands… Straight
due West from us are St Vincent and the Grenadines, I sailed around there
over 10 years ago, i wish we could stop for a beer! Such a shame to pass
so close such beautiful places and just press on, I think the race format
should include a piss up in a few islands along the way, the guys at the
Royal Western Yacht Club have understood the concept very well when they
formulated the Round Britain and Ireland Race, which pretty much forces
you to a massive drinking session at each stopover and consequent hangover
every 3-4 days of intense racing, that’s really hard core, never giving
your body the opportunity to adapt to being at sea, not this sober
business of sailing around the world!