Blog 1: 09/10/2009
It has been a week since the Leg 4 crew of ADVENTURE (the RN yacht) gathered at Fort Blockhouse in Gosport and the end of our first night at sea. Time in the UK and Cape Town has mainly been spent training and preparing the boat for the 5000 NM passage to Perth. One of the major evolutions was shopping for and storing the food for the trip. Having filled the jetty with provisions, the crew set about removing all unnecessary packaging, including tin labels, prior to embarking the stores onboard. This created 3 large refuse bags of rubbish that would otherwise have had to come to Australia with us. It has been noted that there are a worrying amount of pineapple slices in our provisions! Time in Cape Town was not all work and the crew were able to get ashore and enjoy the shopping, bars and restaurants that the area had to offer. Some of the crew had planned to go on a day safari but the requirement to conduct emigration formalities meant that this had to be cancelled. The Royal Cape Yacht Club had spectacular views of Table Mountain on the occasions when the cloud base lifted, unfortunately this never quite coincided with our free time and the Royal Marines were certainly not going to stand on the top of another mist shrouded peak. If they wanted to do that, they could have stayed in Scotland! Having waited for some unsettled weather to pass, all boats departed Cape Town in bright conditions on 9 Oct 09. Following a few hours of drills, ADVENTURE started to make passage to Perth.
A reasonable swell ensured that some of our hard loaded rations were promptly recycled! The crew are now establishing their ‘sea legs’ as our course takes us initially South of the African continent, before making a more easterly heading around the Southern Ocean. SC
Blog 2: 10/10/2009
As the end of the 2nd 24 hrs at sea comes to a close the crew of ADVENTURE are beginning to relax into the ships routine, now able to keep dinner down and able to re-hydrate, no longer kneeling over the leeward side shouting ‘soup!’ every 10 minutes, life is getting better. Last night saw a variety of wind and sea conditions, ranging from very slight seas and variable winds and use of the motor to some great reaching with full mainsail No 2 Yankee and Staysail under moonlight skies. Several small pods of Dolphins and a number of Whales have been sighted. One such Whale insisting on his god given right to remain as the stand on vessel, forcing ‘Adventure’ to alter course boldly to starboard to pass astern.
All the crew are now helming, winching, hoisting, trimming, reefing, filling in the log and helping each other cope with life at various degrees of heel. The mother watch have been providing good food and a clean boat without exception. As we sail into dusk this evening we are expecting winds to increase and back to the East as a new low develops to the North of our position. No doubt a change of sail will prevail before dark as it looks like over the next couple of days the team aboard will have their first real test of near gales and heavy seas, but only for 48hrs or so before experiencing some down-wind sailing. For me it’s off watch and off to bed, till the next time. Nick Wood / Mate.