Discoverer 15th September
We are still poled out, running downwind. Although it is eating up the miles, it can be an extremely unstable point of sail, especially in heaving, rolling seas. This makes life below decks very challenging and meal times look more like the aftermath of a 4yr olds birthday party. On deck, the watches are being kept busy as a result of gusting winds associated with squalls and showers coming in from the South West. This evenings entertainment, is the Battle of Britain Party… Moustache, comb over and Glen Miller music to get us in the Mood.
Helen sends her love John, Dad, Gill, Dylan and the Girls. Hopefully speak to you at the weekend…xxx
Dylan and Helen wish Keith the very best for his Top Table on 24th….Sorry we couldn’t be there…
Cape Town is about 500 miles now, which is fantastic and we are sailing straight towards our destination. The question is which watch is going to see Table Mountain First. The sea life has increased a huge amount, in day light hours we are surrounded by a huge amount of birds, skimming across the waves, some small, some with large and the occasional Albatross. It is real Southern Hemisphere sailing, bright sunshine and big swells, great stuff which stories are made of….
Until next time.
Discoverer 14th September
Everybody is tired today after the work-over we were given last night. Even the most mundane jobs require considerably more effort than they did ten days ago. We were disappointed to see what we thought were two dead seals, upturned with flippers pointed skywards. It turns out they were asleep and they poked their heads up as we sailed past, apparently without a care in the world. The wind shifted and to avoid heading south into ever stronger winds we had to gybe. As always at night, this took three times longer than it would have done during the day. Becky to cheer all up, showed the Volvo Ocean Race DVD, a Challenge 67 will never be the same again, phew…. There havent been any complaints about the food since.
Rob says Hi to George, Klondike and Bowmore.
Scoff says it was great to speak to Ju via Stockholm Radio, even if it was very distorted. Lots of love to everyone.
Discoverer 13th September
Today’s meals were comfort food, with hearty porridge at breakfast and warming mustard mash with lunch. They were needed as it was bitterly cold on deck, but at least the rain had stopped. The cessation of the rain coincided with an increase in wind. White and red watches battled through the night, constantly reducing sail area to ease the problems of sailing in Gale Force winds. Red watch experienced a 1000 mph gust (50 mph to anyone not on red watch), which threw them considerably off course. It was at that point, in the early hours of the morning, that Becky (skipper) diplomatically informed Gerry that a South Westerly heading would not get us to Cape Town. We are trying to “Run the Easting Down”.
Challenger 13th September
Pancakes for breakfast this morning, freshly prepared by Red Watch, a special treat and an interesting challenge trying to get batter to stay in one place while the boat lists by about 30 degrees. The usual ship’s duties for all today and during the daylight hours the sailing was quite easy going. As the sun began to set the wind started to gust to over 45 NM and this provided some of the most challenging sailing yet, especially for us amateurs, tonight really put the Adventure in adventure training. The crew had to put three reefs in the sail and drop the head sail to offset the affect of the Force 8 gales. While at times manning the helm was a struggle, we all retained our composure and more importantly, our sense of humour through the wind and freezing rain.
Once again as dawn broke all was calm again and the boat continues eastward in our aim to beat the RAF and the Royal Navy to Cape Town, although personally I am just happy to be here and to get to our destination safe and sound. Although first place would be a bonus!
The search continues for more Southern Ocean wildlife, while we have daily sightings of various species of birds, Tim has begun to doubt the existence of whales outside of Sea World, San Diego. We have been playing Shark Top Trumps in anticipation of spotting a few of the Ocean’s most famous predators, but so far, no toothy smiles.
896 miles (fingers crossed less than five days) to Cape Town…
Love to all back home!
Challenger 12th September
Finally the wind has backed SW and we tacked! First tack after 1900 miles; a very long run which has only been interrupted by a few sail changes. We did have a 24 hr spinnaker run Thu/Fri which was quite incredible, and edged us ahead of the RAF for a few hours. We are now closing in on our second to last waypoint before heading north again. It appears that the three yachts are very evenly matched with Discoverer 45 NM to the north and Adventurer 145 NM to the south of our position – all trying to gain maximum advantage of the shifting winds and the ocean current. With a 1042 mb high and a 990 mb low close by there is plenty of wind to be had, but bizarrely also the risk of none. With the boats so evenly matched it is likely to be a very close finish. The current low has brought cold and wet weather in, which is less appealing than the clear crisp days and nights we have mostly been experiencing since Rio. About 1300 miles to go so 6 or 7 more days at sea. When we hear the shout of ‘Land ho’ on sighting Table Mountain we will know who has chosen wisely…….
Becci – “….. Out to sea, it’s the only place I honestly, can get myself some peace of mind, you know it’s getting hard to fly…..” (That’s for you Little man, you can’t beat a bit of Oasis!!) On the way now, roll on seeing land, and being able to sleep in a dry bed, put on clothes other than HH thermals and straighten my hair. Hope everyone’s OK, missing you all lots and can’t wait to speak to you and show you all the photo’s! It’s been a good experience, and it’s still not over yet. Love to you all, Reebox x x x x x x x
Ross – Hello Nic. I was going to type something soppy but decided against it for 2 reasons. Firstly, you would think that somebody else had written it, or failing that, you may start to worry that I had gone mad surrounded by nothing but sea for the last 10 days. You will be relieved to hear that I’m actually still sane, or as sane as I was when I left land. Looking forward to getting to Cape Town and wrestling a few sharks. Hope all is well back home. Warrington should be in the play-offs and Everton should be climbing the table. If you remember, can you get us tickets for the England v Australia game at the JJB in October and if needed, any Warrington play-off game that falls after my return. See you soon, Ross x
Rob – Wow. A tack. And I helmed. Salutations to one and all. x